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June 21, 2005

Teachers Want Rid of "Sogo Gakushu"

A recent survey has shown that the vast majority of middle school teachers are unhappy with the "sogo gakushu" system, according to the Daily Yomiuri. The classes, usually called "comprehensive studies" or "general studies" in English, were introduced to the national curriculum in 2002, with more emphasis on teachers to create new and original lessons focusing on such things as environmental or international issues. In the case of the vast majority of primary schools, this resulted in many teachers having to introduce English for the first time. But the latest education ministry survey shows that while a majority of primary school teachers feel the classes are a success, almost 85% of middle school teachers think lesson preparation causes an excessive workload. Also a large number of students either don't like the classes or can't see how they will be of use in the future. The main concern among parents is the perceived decline in academic standards since the system was introduced. A majority favor a national test of academic ability and an increase in classroom hours.
Survey: Nix general study classes (link will expire)
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