Japan to introduce unified digital support system for teachers to improve their working style

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This July 26, 2018 file photo shows the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology building in Tokyo. (Mainichi)

TOKYO – Japan’s Ministry of Education has decided to implement a new “school affairs support system” that allows teachers to manage tasks such as absence notifications and grade management on their personal computers one by one. in order to reduce their long working hours.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology will unify the system nationwide so that data can be quickly transmitted when children change schools, leading to a transparent guidance. To change teachers’ analog working style through digital technology, 1 billion yen (approximately US$7.21 million) for costs such as launching pilot projects will be included in the fiscal year 2023 budget request. .

According to a 2016 Department of Education survey, about 30% of public elementary school teachers and 60% of middle school teachers worked overtime “more than 80 hours per month”, which is considered the threshold. determination of death by overwork. In public schools in Japan, there are cases where teachers receive notifications of student absences over the phone, or have to print documents to share information on paper, because they do not have their own e-mail addresses. professional emails. Such an analog working style is considered to be one of the reasons for the problem.

To improve work efficiency, 70% of local governments in Japan have implemented an “integrated school affairs support system” to manage student attendance records, health conditions, learning status and school attendance. Other data, but most can only be accessed from devices in the staff room. It has also led to issues such as the loss of students’ personal information after teachers transfer it to their USB drives while working outside of school.

In addition, compatibility between systems is low, as there are differences in the systems used by each school and school board, and the difficulty of transmitting data between schools when a child is transferred or advanced to another school becomes also a problem.

To solve the problem, the Ministry of Education aims to create a new school business support system nationwide to manage data using cloud computing. In addition to allowing teachers to work outside of school by logging into the system from their personal computers, it will be possible for teachers to receive absence notifications sent from students’ personal computers.

The Japanese government has implemented its “GIGA school program”, which provides one digital device per student in primary and secondary schools. Learning data will also be accumulated by connecting the digital device to the new school business support system. The Ministry of Education says that by collecting information about abuse and public assistance records, teachers will be able to collectively understand a student’s home environment and learning situation, and use for guidance and support.

The ministry will launch pilot projects in public elementary and secondary schools in six municipalities in the 2023 school year and aims to implement a unified system across Japan by the 2030 school year. adoption of a cloud system apparently include the ability for teachers busy caring for an elderly person or raising children to work remotely, and avoid data loss even if the school is hit by a natural disaster.

Due to the slow popularity of the teaching profession, the level of competition for the 2021 Public Elementary School Teacher Exam was only 2.6 times that of the rest – an all-time high. A senior official from the Ministry of Education explained, “We want to make people realize that this is not an old-fashioned place to work and make the job of a teacher more attractive.”

(Japanese original by Makoto Fukazu, Tokyo City News Department)

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