In 1984 Japan had approximately 1,000,000 full time teachers elementary and secondary levels .Teachers are trained through institutions and university, though the exception are allowed in certain special cases. After completion of the institute or university, teachers must have an internship of one to two years before being registered as a teacher, this help the teacher-to- be to be exposed to the teaching environment and help him/her to gain the confidence as a teacher. Teachers are trained within a curriculum reform to enable them to encounter the global and social problems that caused the failure in their education system. The reform has linked the knowledge, skill and attributes of the teachers also they must understand the knowledge of human growth and child development.
A prospective teacher meets the formal academic requirements through successful completion of prescribed courses of study in a postsecondary institution. No matter how good the academic record reflects for appointment to a teaching position.
It is recommended that normal schools should be reinvented as four-year universities of teacher training, and that teacher training should also be provided at comprehensive universities.
Japan retains certain university-level, mono-technical institutions for teacher training Two year colleges and institutions still produces teachers but 90% of teachers are degree-holders graduates.
Due to open system, Japan met the rising demand of teachers in the market. Rapid expansion of teacher education opportunities in Japan, not astonishingly, formed its own problems and critics, a perceived lowering of certification standards. There was an alarming trend on the part of student to acquire minimum credits to qualify for teaching. The teachers training institutions only set required minimum standards set by the government, including a very short period of teaching practice (2-4 weeks) and professional preparations.
A teacher in Japan receives 25% higher than those in civil servant hence encouraging teaching career in the entire country. Though the salaries are good, the number of student for elementary to secondary schools keeps declining. Compensation of a teacher has a base salary. He/she is also entitled to allowances which include provision of dependants, other factors being equal, a married teacher with children receives a higher pay than a married teacher without children or an unmarried teacher.
The base salary also depends on seniority of the position one is holding. The salary ratio between a teacher at the top of the seniority scale and a beginning teacher with the same training is approximately 3 to 1.At first, salary is affected by the teacher degree and certificate level but seniority is the accumulation of service years. The difference salary between a bachelors degree and those who have 2-year degree is initially about 16%, but at the end of the professional career the difference is about 3%.That shows teacher in Japan are well compensated than in United State of America (USA)
Since teach are well paid, many career-wise student prefer to be teacher to any other professional unlike in most country in the world.
Due to the depreciation in the number of student in school, many students (teachers-to-be) than in the past will find it difficult to find a teaching post. Ministry of Education has proposed a reduction in teacher education places through institutional consolidation. But teaching in Japan clearly remains a socially respected occupation and an attractive career.
JAPAN TEACHERS UNION (JTU)
Established in 1947, it was the largest and oldest labor union of teachers and school staffs until the split in the late 1980s.These unions have their strength and political orientation. Historically there is great friction between the union and the ministry of education. JTU was pressing for freedom of teachers to choose text books for students and participate in decision making, have a comprehensive high school for youths. But the government supported this issue but viewed it with in a different perspective thus creating a conflict.
JTU’s members are mostly teachers in the public elementary and secondary schools. The membership has declined in recent years. In 1985 the number dropped below 50 percent of all public school teachers for the first time since the union was established in immediate postwar period.
JTU is the dominant organization of educators. It is the second largest public sector union, and a very influential member of Sohyo, the General Council of Japanese Trade Unions.
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National Institute on Student Achievement, Curriculum, and Assessment