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Teachers under scrutiny


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Mental health absences of teachers rise

The number of public school teachers who took a leave of absence due to mental health-related illness in fiscal 2001 rose 11 percent from a year earlier to a record 2,503, according to the education ministry data made available recently
The data, compiled by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, showed that the figure comprises 48 percent of all teachers at the nation's public elementary, junior and senior high schools who took sick leave during the year.

The ministry attributed the rise to the increasing stress levels teachers have come under due to classrooms in disarray, truancy and stronger control over the workplace.

The data also found that the number of teachers punished for improper sexual conduct against students declined by 19 to 122, while that of those punished for physically punishing students decreased by four to 424.

Those taking leave from school due to mental health illness accounted for 0.27 percent of all teachers, or one out of every 370 teachers, up for the ninth straight year.

In fiscal 2001, which ended in March, 3,984 public school teachers faced some kind of punishment, up 18 from a year earlier.

Of those, 1,093 faced disciplinary action under the Local Public Service Law, 92 were dismissed and 185 were suspended from their jobs.

=> http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20021230a4.htm
Hmm... interesting article although I wish a clearer delineation of what exactly constitutes "mental health-related illness" and what is just stress could have been presented. As a former ALT who has been exposed to the rigors of the day-to-day routine of the public school system, I can attest that the job while having its ups and downs is nowhere near as stressful that it would necessitate a teacher to take an extended leave citing "mental health reasons". Then again, it could just be a difference in terminology but I suspect that what many of these teachers have experienced is no less stressful than what many students subjected to ijime and constant bullying have had to endure to date. For myself, the only stressful part of my job was having to wake up at seven in the morning everyday to get to work ('im a night person, heh).
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