Experts call for measures to address teacher shortages across Japan

NHK -- May 09
Japanese education experts have urged central and local governments to take urgent steps to address the chronic shortages of teachers.

Four experts released a preliminary result of their survey at a news conference on Monday in Tokyo.

They say 20 percent of 179 vice principals of public schools across the country said there were staff shortages at the start of the new academic year in April.

Nihon University Professor Suetomi Kaori said although a government survey in the last fiscal year found that schools nationwide were 2,558 teachers short, she feels the shortages are more serious.

She also said the absence of homeroom teachers is a disadvantage to students, and the situation needs to be addressed immediately.

She added that the survey that began in late April will continue until May 22.

The experts urged central and local authorities to secure funding to employ regular teaching staff and improve the working environment of teachers, many of whom are overworked.