April 19, 2013, The Yomiuri Shimbun
As much as 79 percent of the public hopes six-day school weeks will resume, while 84 percent support making ethics a school subject, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey.
Forty-one percent of respondents in the survey, which was conducted on March 30 and 31, said Saturday classes should be held every week at public schools and 38 percent said they should be held once or twice a month.
The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has been discussing the resumption of six-day weeks.
Seventeen percent said a six-day school week is not necessary.
When asked about the reason for supporting a six-day week, to which respondents could give multiple answers, the largest group, 63 percent, said it will lead to academic development.
In the face-to-face survey on education, 3,000 eligible voters were randomly chosen. Valid responses were given by 1,472 people, or 49 percent.
Regarding the local education board system, 63 percent of respondents said governors and municipality chiefs should become more involved in education administration.
The high percentage indicates public dissatisfaction with the education board system, which has been strongly criticized for having failed to operate effectively.
When asked about making ethics a regular subject in schools, which has been discussed by the government, as many as 84 percent said they support the idea.
As the reason for the support, 52 percent–higher than any other reason–cited the effects on nurturing sympathy in children.
Among measures believed to be effective in preventing bullying at school, “strict discipline at home” was the most cited, at 35 percent. Additionally, 33 percent hoped for the installation of a third party to receive relevant information and provide counseling to solve the problems. Respondents could give multiple answers to the question.
Thirty-nine percent said no corporal punishment at school is ever tolerable, while 55 percent said it can be acceptable depending on the situation. Four percent said it is always acceptable.
Among the 59 percent who supported corporal punishment, the largest group, 61 percent, said the punishment is acceptable when teachers have a trusting relationship with children.
It was followed by 40 percent who said the punishment is acceptable if it is effective in providing children with life guidance.