Hashimoto pressures school to cancel some entrance exams

OSAKA —

A school in Osaka has bowed to pressure from Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto to suspend its entrance exams for some departments following revelations that a 17-year-old student committed suicide in December after being repeatedly physically punished by the school’s basketball club coach.

The boy, who was captain of the school basketball team, hanged himself on Dec 23 after telling his friends and family that his basketball coach was carrying out a sustained campaign of physical assaults on him. The boy reportedly told friends and family that he wanted to confront the man about the bullying, but did not feel able to because he was afraid. He left letters to his parents and one addressed to the coach, who is currently under suspension.

Hashimoto first began calling for Sakuranomiya High School to cancel sports class entrance exams in response to the incident on Jan 19. According to a report on Fuji TV, an association of Osaka municipal middle school principals submitted a written request to the Osaka Board of Education, asking that the city allow the exams to be held. The association said that to cancel the exams would be highly detrimental to students. When asked to comment on the request, Hashimoto told a news conference Monday that the principals who formed the association were “the kind of principal we don’t need,” Fuji reported.

Hashimoto met Sakuranomiya high school and Board of Education officials on Monday afternoon. Local media quoted sources as saying that Hashimoto asked for the suspension of entrance exams for the physical education course, as well as the sports and health science course, threatening to withhold the remaining 1.3 million yen of the fiscal 2012 budget for the school’s exams. Afterwards, the school announced that it would cancel the entrance exams.

When asked to comment on the decision to cancel the entrance exams, Hashimoto told reporters Monday night, “I think the school has made an excellent decision.”

Meanwhile, Fuji TV reported Tuesday that the Osaka municipal government office has received hundreds of complaints from parents concerned that their children would be adversely affected by the decision. Around 200 comments were also posted on websites, including the city’s official page, expressing outrage at the decision.

Hashimoto has also admonished the school for allowing the basketball teacher to serve at the same school for 18 years. Assistant coaches, teammates and the boy’s family were all reportedly aware of the assaults, and yet failed to take any preventative action. The Osaka Board of Education advises moving teachers every 7-10 years to prevent any teacher wielding more power than the principal. Hashimoto said that he believed the rule was in place to prevent such abuses of power and that the school needed to be held accountable.

Hashimoto went on to request that the board replace all 70 teachers at the school. Referring to those who vehemently opposed his unilateral decision, Hashimoto said, “They can choose not to vote for me.”

Japan Today

  • 5

    Yubaru

    This is sad on so many levels closing the barn door after the horse is out mentality that permeates so much of society here.

    Punish those responsible now, not the one's who come later.

  • 2

    Yubaru

    On a separate note the title is misleading as well seeing as how, according to last night's news, the BOE while in fact pressured to change the tests, informed everyone that while there would not be the sports or health class entrance exam, any students who were scheduled to take those tests would be testing for the general studies program at the school, and here is the kicker, and they will have the option of having a sports orientated "general studies" program available to them

    Which in effect means that they are studing for the same thing just under a different name and without the practical application interview portion of the test. IF they pass they will have the same classes just under a different name.

    Hashimoto is becoming more and more like a dicator before everyone's eyes starting with the City of Osaka.

  • 2

    timeon

    Maybe this news don't say everything, but the logic of this baffles me. Cancel entrance exams because the teacher of a team bullied a student? How are these related? Would all the bully teachers somehow disappear once the exams are removed? Fire all 70 teachers because one bully that many of them may even don't know? I'm in trouble then if some guy from my school does something bad... Take decisions against the wishes of the school and of the parents and (illegally) threaten to cut funds if they don't do as you wish? I'm probably missing something here.

  • 9

    whiskeysour

    18 years ???

    Sounds like the basketball coach/teacher is UNTOUCHABLE..... Why ?

    Police a scared to arrest a child beater !!!!

    suspension ??? Not fired ???? Why ? Why won't the police arrest him?

  • 3

    Jaymann

    it is horrendous that a politician can strong arm school policy like that. This Hashimoto clown is the worst kind of demagogue.

  • 2

    rickyvee

    the big H loves to be in the spotlight. he jumps on the bandwagon for any event that gives him favorable publicity, but he often goes too far. he's a charlatan masquerading as a politician.

  • 2

    Disillusioned

    Why do they need entrance exams for public high schools anyway? It is 'public' high school, isn't it? That is what is wrong with the education system in Japan. Everything is a bloody test! The kids don't learn anything cos they only study to pass a test then forget what they have learned. And, then, you have these old twits that feel that carrying out a gold old hazing is part of a good education. This so-called 'teacher' should be up on man-slaughter charges!

  • 2

    LFRAgain

    His Imperial Majesty Hashimoto speaks!

    Woe be it to the person who dareth stand against him.

    And the people of Osaka wallow another day in abysmal civic ignorance under this loon's so-called leadership.

  • -1

    Yubaru

    It is 'public' high school, isn't it?

    Public only in that it is publicly funded, not everyone can go there. Once has to understand the school system to understand why this is the way it is and it would be better off to google it than try to explain the rational here.

    Needless to say Hashimoto's actions are in effect punishing the community and new students for the failure of the people he is ultimately responsible for as head of the City. If he wants to take responsibility for the misdeeds of his underlings then do the Japanese thing and quit.

    Maybe this news don't say everything, but the logic of this baffles me. Cancel entrance exams because the teacher of a team bullied a student? How are these related? Would all the bully teachers somehow disappear once the exams are removed? Fire all 70 teachers because one bully that many of them may even don't know?

    What he is doing in effect is taking away the school's sports and health departments that JHS kids would study to enter. The school was noted for those departments and he is punishing it and it's reputation because the teachers that were in the school KNEW what was going on, (along with the parents and everyone but Hashimoto it seems) and his goal is to make it look, to the general public, that he is taking a stand.

    Unfortunately some people will wrongly agree with him and his actions because it makes it look like he is doing something to combat bullying by teachers. When in effect he is doing no such thing what-so-ever and is just playing to the media instead of getting to the root of the problem that starts with teachers.

  • 1

    Okinawamike

    I'm in trouble then if some guy from my school does something bad

    Sounds familiar.

  • 0

    Laguna

    The fact that the coach had had such a long history of violence and that it was noted but not addressed is inexcusable. Entrance exams are the bread and butter of schools - Hashimoto's hitting them in the wallet.

    This will at least draw clear attention from other schools which may be harboring similar malfeasance and cause them to clean up their acts.

  • 1

    Disillusioned

    Yubaru - Once has to understand the school system to understand why this is the way it is and it would be better off to google it than try to explain the rational here.

    I do understand the school system very well after working in it for over a decade. I was only asking why there needs to be tests for public school.

  • 1

    Reckless

    I actually support him on this. It is a rare bird in this country that comes out forcefully against bullying. Perhaps as he has like 10 kids, he has a desire to protect kids. I think the basketball coach (ala Sandusky) should be arrested for assault, harassment, and any other gosh darn charge that they can find.

  • -2

    lucabrasi

    Referring to those who vehemently opposed his unilateral decision, Hashimoto said, “They can choose not to vote for me.”

    Indeed they can, along with tens of thousands of others. Looks like the preening little otter-man has shot himself well and truly in the foot.

  • 0

    taj

    @ Laguna

    Entrance exams are the bread and butter of schools

    I don't understand this system. Could you explain? Do schools turn a profit from the entrance exams? If so, why do the need money from the municipal government for the exams. (or am I misunderstanding this bit:

    threatening to withhold the remaining 1.3 million yen of the fiscal 2012 budget for the school’s exams.

  • 2

    blendover

    The real solution to these types of problems would require the revamping of sports and other programs in all schools. Major changes in the ministry, major changes in teacher education, the insititution of mandatory licencing of non teaching sports coaches, major changes in school practices generally, changes to the senpai/kohai system - I could go on.

    This is the kind of money that Hashimoto absolutely does not want to spend. He is a cost cutter, so he has opted for a cheapskate, cost cutting method to make it look like he is taking the problem seriously and to generate publicity as one of the actors rather than talkers on the policital scene. This makes him dangerous because short term. low budget solutions to long term problems generally lead to things getting worse, not better.

  • 0

    marcelito

    To those concerned about the 70 teachers being " fired".. This is a public school so those teachers will not be loosing their jobs, they will be rotated to different schools and replaced by other teachers from within the public school system. Every public school goes through change of staff at the beginning of each school year - in this case the only difference is that all teachers at this school will be rotated as opposed to 20-50% which is usually the case.

  • -1

    Yubaru

    I do understand the school system very well after working in it for over a decade. I was only asking why there needs to be tests for public school.

    Sorry, but if you know the system then you wouldn't be asking the question. It really is that simple.

    High school education is not compulsory in Japan, hence the testing to only allow qualified, (by the school's standards) applicants, and this is basically the reasoning why.

    There are many things "test" oriented in Japan and many that deal with the public sector as well and not everyone can pass them either, it's just accepted by the people and is a part of the system.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    I don't understand this system. Could you explain? Do schools turn a profit from the entrance exams? If so, why do the need money from the municipal government for the exams. (or am I misunderstanding this bit:

    threatening to withhold the remaining 1.3 million yen of the fiscal 2012 budget for the school’s exams.

    The money for the tests for the most part goes to the printing companies that make up the tests themselves and comes out of the BOE budget and not the prefectural budget which typically funds HS's in Japan.(That and the national gov. too)

    The schools don't make money, they are non-profit organizations. The teachers will get a small stipend for proctoring the tests and going through the process of selection of the students each year but it is minor in comparison to the overall work they put into it all.

  • -1

    kevind

    i have thought about this and at first i thought why punish the kids but then i realized hashimoto is right the kids should be punished and the example he is a good thing for this country and that is when you witness this outright disgusting abuse by a person in power and as a student you dont say anything than you are complicit kudos to the only real leader in this country full of sheep

  • 0

    lucabrasi

    @kevind

    hashimoto is right the kids should be punished and the example he is a good thing for this country and that is when you witness this outright disgusting abuse by a person in power and as a student you dont say anything than you are complicit

    No. The students affected are currently junior high school students hoping to enter Sakuranomiya. They didn't witness anything.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    While I'm against entrance exams as a whole, you can't stop one school from taking them and not consider the consequences of doing so -- feeding your own ego aside, that is.

    “I think the school has made an excellent decision.”

    Yeah, because you LITERALLY threatened them, saying you would withhold the remaining money if they did not.

    “They can choose not to vote for me.”

    This guy is a fascist, bottom line. HUNDREDS of calls and complaints by parents, 70 teachers going to be replaced and students thrown into exam limbo, but this guy doesn't give one iota so long as he gets what he wants. Ironically, a lot of the people who like this guy and call on him for building a 'new Japan' are the same ones who get upset at China and their system of government, when all the while Hashimoto is proving to be the same or worse.

  • 0

    tmarie

    Where to begin, where to begin... Hashi, why hasn't this guy been fired? On and on and on about it yet this guy still has a job...

    Way to bully the future students and teachers of this school because ONE guy is an idiot. One guy who has yet to be brought up on formal charges of assault by Osaks City's finest. Why is that Hashi?

    **Hashimoto has also admonished the school for allowing the basketball teacher to serve at the same school for 18 years. Assistant coaches, teammates and the boy’s family were all reportedly aware of the assaults, and yet failed to take any preventative action. **

    18 years? That isn't the principal's doing. Hashi, perhaps you would like to go downstairs to the BOE office that is IN YOUR BULIDING and deal with it and find out who is responsible for allowing this guy to stay where he is? I have no doubt the current principal wanted him gone before he set foot in that school.

    The parents... So everyone knew and no one did anything to help this child? His parents are partly to blame for this. Their silence supported this coach and allowed him to do what he did. There are numerous parents who are defending this coach and his methods. Not mentioned here. Why not? Is was on the news. The only thing I will agree with Hashi is that he called them crazy for this beating a child at school is okay. Indeed, it is crazy so why not charge the guy and fire him??

  • -1

    Kanade

    I also dislike Hashimoto and his often show-offy actions, but isn't he kinda right on this one? They can't just go and change the programme, the senpai/kouhai system, etc right away, because it means changing their mentality. It's impossible, at least for now. In this case, Hashimoto just wanted to punish the school for allowing such a thing to happen, I think it's pretty reasonable, because a kid actually died. By suspending entrance exams, he decreased the number of prospective students, and I'm sure that will lead to declien in the budget, and also all the teachers will be replaced.I think it's not a bad idea. It might take forever to find out who was aware of acts of violence and who was not. Besides, it's not like those teachers will be fired, just transfered. No, seriously, what's so bad about the decision? Now all schools know what will happen to them, if such severe bullying occurs on their grounds. Since neither the BOE nor the teachers seem to understand the whole seriousness of the issue, I suppose Hashimoto decided to control them with fear? In this case, I think, his dictatorship is reasonable. You can't always solve everything diplomatically. There's a lot more I want to right regarding this topic, but I hope no one misunderstands my comment.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    Kanade: "...but isn't he kinda right on this one?"

    Nope. He's right that punishment needs to be doled out, but he's wrong in how he's misdirected it -- he is punishing the students, the teachers, the parents (indirectly), and the school, but no word on what his city plans to do with the actual criminal. What will withholding the entrance exams for these poor kids, some of whom were beaten, accomplish except to possibly screw up their futures? What will suddenly getting rid of every teacher they know and have bonded with accomplish?

    And finally, how is he in ANY WAY 'right' for the bullying tactics he himself embraces? He doesn't like a comment by the media, he threatens to shun them for good. He doesn't like that a school board and the school disagree with his decision? he threatens to withhold promised funds. He doesn't like that hundreds of people are against him on this while he is the ONLY one for it (besides right-wing nuts with no children at or near the school, if they have kids at all)? he smiles and insults them, declaring he is above them all.

  • -1

    sidesmile

    I feel Hashimoto on this one but again hes too much like a bull in a china shop. I would dare to say that if he matured his rhetoric he will one day make a good leader. He should be coming down hard on the appropriate people. Working tirelessly, ruthlessly and summoning everyone at all hours and levels to answer his questions and eventually weed out who and how many are responsible regardless of how "senior" or important they may be....then beat seven shades of snot out of 'em!

  • 0

    tmarie

    ** Hashimoto just wanted to punish the school for allowing such a thing to happen**

    Why punish the entire school for one teacher's actions? Why should the English teacher, who may have hated this guy, have to have his life changed because of this one guy? Hashimoto is just bullying the school and the teachers which is "funny" because he's supposed to be deal with a power issue while ignoring the fact that HE'S also creating a power issue.

    Again, why hasn't this teacher been fired and charges pressed? Why isn't Hashi dealing with this guy and not the school? Why isn't he finding out who allowed this guy to stay at this school for so long. Heads SHOULD roll but it isn't the heads of the other faculty nor the future students. As Smith said, it is very misdirected.

  • 0

    cwhite

    well the Japanese society is based on 連帯責任 [れんたいせきにん] collective responsibility, joint liability

  • 1

    The passage

    Actually, I don't disagree with him but the way he presents his opinions could be significantly improved. Think about it for a second, a school system in Sakuradai that actually supported the physical punishment of children for errors or bad performance in sports. It wasn't just this teacher, the assistant teachers knew it went on not only because they saw it, they were also at the school many years before under the same coach! So what do you do, put more kids into that same system hoping that someone pushed the magic button? This happened less than a month ago and corrective action has not been completed. It needs to be sorted out PDQ then they can start again. It's not one guy, the school shoulders the blame as an entity, and maybe the parents too.

  • -2

    proxy

    Yubaru The entire system is broken. I don't think that there is any place in the world that makes high school compulsory. The rest of the world has moved on beyond 1925 and realizes that it is in society's best interest to give a publicly funded high school education to everyone who wants one. The entire philosophy of secondary education in Japan is well and truly outdated and is killing the youth of Japan. The notion of putting as many roadblocks as possible in front of students and praising those that make it through works for the few but leaves the rest destroyed, depressed, suicidal and mentally scarred for life.

    To answer Disillusioned's question entrance exams for public high schools are not needed at all. They go well past being a waste of time, energy and resources and have a long term negative impact. There is absolutely no reason at all to test children wanting to go to public high school who are just wrapping up three years of public junior high besides bullying them. The system is stupid and if you can't see that it may say a lot about you.

    Canadian children have at least two months off during the summer another month during the year, little homework compared to Japanese children score 7 points lower in IQ testing compared to Japanese children perform at least as good as Japanese students on the PISA tests at age 15 and well outperform Japanese university students.

    The Japanese system is stupid and if you can't see that it may say a lot about you. Outcomes do indeed matter my friend and Japan is failing. Standing by a failing system is inexcusable. You are part of the problem and if you don't see that, at least get the heck out of the way.

  • 1

    SamuraiBlue

    Since some of you do not reside in Japan and do not have the news in detail I can understand some not understanding the situation. It was not a single apple that was rotten the whole barrel was with various questionaires given out to student beside the affected Basketball club and the majority answered there were some type of corporal punishiment at each club. The principal of the school was inept to do anything since those coaches brought fame to the school so he kept a blind eye to the matter.

    Hashimoto demanded the school to replace all club coaches before new students enters and to ensure that it is done he gave an ultimatum cancel the entrance exam and replace all the coaches or no budget.

  • -1

    kevind

    @lubacrasi exactly my point

  • -1

    kevind

    punishing teachers doesnt work punish the students then the outcry not only lies with them but there parents as well the only way to change something in this country is to hit them where it hurts most.the kids and the parents the teachers will continue the shoganai attitude and the union will protect them but if the parents and students demand better eventually they will get it

  • -2

    proxy

    SamuraiBlue It is not even that one barrel of apples that is rotten, or one apple orchard, it is the entire crop. We all know that this sort of physical abuse and bullying by teachers goes on at EVERY high school in Japan and the "better" the school, the worse the abuse and corruption is.

    Parents MUST pay for early morning and evening extra classes even if their child is doing well or the school will expel the student. And all of that money goes straight into the teachers' pockets. It is basically extortion; pay up or your kid doesn't graduate.

  • 1

    Yubaru

    Yubaru The entire system is broken. I don't think that there is any place in the world that makes high school compulsory.

    In the US it is based upon the states and if I remember correctly the age is 18 for about 1/4 of the states and 16 and 17 for all the rest, which makes HS a part of compulsory education based upon age.

    I agree the system is broken, and even when things supposedly worked it was broken, but at least back then there was the realization that not all kids would enter HS, there were less schools and the entrance exams meant something.

    Now a days with the ever declining population in Japan and an over abundance of schools the entrance exam is pretty much meaningless seeing as how if a kid misses at one school odds are pretty good they can go somewhere else in the second round of testing.

    For example down here in Okinawa 30 years ago there were only something like 25 HS's on the main island, today there over over 50 on the main island alone and the number of students sitting for the exams is going down. But still kids dont pass because they never studied, they need to seriously institute a system of holding kids back if they dont meet the grades. Make HS a part of compulsory education, and make the kids study or dont pass them. HS's are funded by prefectures and nationally, along with local funding and are by far better funded than ES and JHS which are funded locally and are subject to the whims of local elected councils.

    HS teachers, while having the SAME teaching license as JHS, get paid better AND work less as well. THe system is screwed on all levels and NO ONE wants to revamp it or change if for the better because everyone has ideas and they all cant work, and they certainly dont want any gaijin input either so things get band-aided over with the jugular spouting blood everywhere.

    • Moderator

      Back on topic please.

  • 1

    SamuraiBlue

    proxy

    Parents MUST pay for early morning and evening extra classes even if their child is doing well or the school will expel the student. And all of that money goes straight into the teachers' pockets. It is basically extortion; pay up or your kid doesn't graduate.

    Ibelieve you are talking about cram schools so the teachers are different. The kids do graduate even with dismal grades they can "Sayonara" to any chances of going to college though.

    As for corporal punishiment no it does not happen at every school even if they play at Koshien or Kokuritsu Kyogijo. That is just your prejudicious talking. There are many fabulous coaches without lifting his/her voice. They enspire students to do better with words not with the cane. I happen to graduate from one. Each and every student were motivated on their own not by the school and certainly not with a cane. In fact the schools that achieve the highest have these coaches at the helm since you can only achieve to a certain point with fear. The ones who can reach the top are the ones that are actually motivated to do it by themselves.

  • 1

    Cos

    Why punish the entire school for one teacher's actions?

    One teacher ? Precedent articles mentioned a team of 3 coaches for basket ball and besides they said a number of claims were about abuses by a coach of another sport. So 4, counting in one sport section...

    Hashimoto demanded the school to replace all club coaches before new students enters

    Sounds like a minimum. Parents should be demanding it, even for students already there. Let's say my kid was in volley-ball, I would tell him/her to skip the club as long as they don't reform the sport clubs there.

    hundreds of complaints from parents concerned that their children would be adversely affected

    Hundreds of parents that still want to send their kids to that dressage ?

    Why should the English teacher, who may have hated this guy, have to have his life changed

    You think many English teacher are coaches in the sports section ? Then about moving the 70 teachers, it's a normal thing in Japan, and that does "change their life" to transfer another school of the same town every 5 years. I don't think it's useful but that's the Japanese custom.

    The Osaka Board of Education advises moving teachers every 7-10 years to prevent any teacher wielding more power than the principal.

    Roughly, instead of doing their job, like acting at BOE level and active support to principals whenever complaints arrive... So instead of the BOE doing their job, they rotate teachers. I don't see what that change. The abuser was a little celebrity, former champion, coach of champion... wherever school he goes too, he arrives with his royalty status. Also older teachers vs younger principals, it's the same. I think teachers can stay 30 decades in a school, and that's not the problem if the management does their job. Look, in most companies, staff are at one workplace for all their career, and the bucho still has authority on the guys under.

  • 0

    proxy

    SamuraiBlue No I meant public schools. The "good" schools have 0 period classes before first period that parents must pay for and the money is pocketed by teachers. The excuse is " well, high school is not mandatory, feel free to drop out if you don't want to pay."

    Wow, if you are saying that you went did three years of junior high and high school in Japan and never saw or heard of a teacher at either school bullying a students that is amazing.

  • -1

    tmarie

    a school system in Sakuradai that actually supported the physical punishment of children for errors or bad performance in sports. It wasn't just this teacher, the assistant teachers knew it went on not only because they saw it, they were also at the school many years before under the same coach!

    You're forgetting the parents who knew about it and fully support this teachers methods even NOW.

    Cos, I know you like to think you know it all but having worked in said system, this does affect the teachers. It isn't as simple as picking up and moving without problems. Moving 70 teachers at one time is not the solution and will cause a lot of problems for that school - and all the teachers who moved. I know many English teachers who are sport club coaches - some ranking near the top in the city.

  • 0

    The passage

    @tmarie

    You're forgetting the parents

    Mentioned in last sentence of my post - yes they share the blame, and it is baffling why some "new" parents are pushing for their kids to get into the school now

  • -1

    smithinjapan

    SamuraiBlue: "Since some of you do not reside in Japan and do not have the news in detail I can understand some not understanding the situation."

    And many of us ARE in Japan and understand the system a whole lot better than a lot of Japanese. So what of it? Even if they don't fully understand the system and are outside Japan people are still entitled to comment on the issue, and can easily see how wrong Hashimoto is on this.

  • 0

    Cos

    It isn't as simple as picking up and moving without problems. Moving 70 teachers at one time is not the solution and will cause a lot of problems for that school

    The problems are already in that school. The students already there deserve having clean new teachers and staff that were not involved in the past abuses and covering. After a case in my high school, the perv was transfered. So you think that's enough ? I really hated having to sit 3 hours a week in front of that woman. One of the dearest friends of the perv.

    Moving 70 teachers at one time is not the solution

    It's considered a solution for City Hall staff, even for Pentagone staff... They are all moving in Washington this week. Over 2 or 3 years, that would well seem smoother surely, but particularly in Japan, when the newbies are in minority, things never change. On their first year, they get "trained" into the old habit by those already in post (sempai/kohai), they are made to accept the unofficial hierarchy. If they were all arriving, they would have a chance to discuss together the way they should work in the future. .

    this does affect the teachers.

    But there are not some among them that feel affected by the case and that think they'd better change of school ? You would want to keep working with the same team, the same principal that covered it and keep teaching to the school mates of the suicided kid, pretending that was like a traffic accident and the school is not concerned ?

  • 2

    SamuraiBlue

    proxy

    No I meant public schools. The "good" schools have 0 period classes before first period that parents must pay for and the money is pocketed by teachers. The excuse is " well, high school is not mandatory, feel free to drop out if you don't want to pay."

    Then I believe you have no idea what you are talking about because those teachers are considered as local government employee which are prohibted in accepting money from parents BY LAW. Look it up if you want. There are teachers that does offer and may even force some students to attend extra classes but they do not get a penny out of it. If you see one just contact the local authority and that teacher will be gone by nightfall.

    What you write is only in novels.

    Wow, if you are saying that you went did three years of junior high and high school in Japan and never saw or heard of a teacher at either school bullying a students that is amazing.

    To tell you the truth NO I have not. Right now the students are more powerful in ordinary class with teacher fearing what is known as Moster Parents. I believe there was an article about them here.

    Unless the teachers have some kind of Karisma like the coaches that brings fame to the school or the ones that uses the achievement records(Naishinsho) as hostage to prey on the meek and frail, there is no way the teacher can continually aflict abuse without the parents crashing into school shouting we are sueing this school for misconduct. That is one of the reasons why there is so much school violence and bulling in the first place the teachers simply do not want to get involved. In the days when I went to school I saw more school teachers with stern attitude not letting the police get involved in school incidents in which teachers were the ones that solved those issues. Now a days you see more and more police involvement which is a sign that teachers are becoming less and less significant within the school premises.

    Geez some people think they know everything by reading some damn article.

  • 0

    SamuraiBlue

    One more thing entrance exams for high schools are highly recomended. It is the same as class asignments based on gade achievement that I believe most nations do. It's a neccessary evil to obtain the right method of education based on the level the students can cope with since there is no grade skipping(hopping) in Japan.

    The one thing the Japanese education system is missing is not making the students write reports(essays) on what they had learned on various subject and too much leaned to achievement tests which just becomes cramming of data. The schools should provide more time to students to practice critical thinking.

  • -1

    dracpoo2

    This official has a say in everything. He tells them not to vote for him....well something tells me he wont have to say it twice. How does what happened affect the entrance exams exactly? can someone tell me in layman terms. I don't quite quite get it.

  • 1

    Fadamor

    OK, I understand that even "public" schools in Japan are tiered and you must take academic entrance exams to qualify, but I'm wondering about the "Sports Class Entrance Exams". Do schools REALLY reject students from the school if they can't run a kilometer in x minutes? Unbelievable! This isn't an Olympic Training Camp they're trying to get into.

    The only real issue I have with this is Hashimoto singling out one school in this request. If it is a good idea for one school, it should be a good idea for all of them.

  • -1

    proxy

    SamuraiBlue Sorry, it is you who does not know. The extra classes at public high schools are paid for by parents and the money is pocked by the teachers. What do you think happens to the money parents pay????????

    And exams are not needed. It is very simple, students who got over 80% in JH would be eligible to enter A classes, students who got between 605 and 80% could be allowed to enter B classes and students who got under 60% would be allowed to enter C classes. Believe it or not but students who got 60% in JH math do not want to take more, harder math in high school. People would sort themselves out. And believe it or not in most of the rest of the work there are self-motivated students who actually love to study and want to get over a 90% average without being bullied into it.

    There are reams of scientific studies on how much sleep adolescents need for proper body and brain development and not a single one in any way suggests the the high school age group can get by without 8 hours of sleep every night. There are also reams of studies that compare the test outcomes based on how much sleep students get and every study clearly indicates that students who sleep at least 8 hours well outperform students who sleep only six hours. If you have the guts, read up a bit on frontal lobe development and the symptoms of frontal lobe brain damage. The symptoms are eerily similar to societal problems in Japan. Of particular interest to you may be the part the frontal lobe plays in sexuality. There is a reason that young people in Japan show little, as compared to "normal" young people in other countries, in sex and that Japanese married couple rank at the bottom of the world in the number of times they have intercourse on a year; they have brain damage from lack of sleep during the critical 15-21 age years.

  • 2

    Cos

    How does what happened affect the entrance exams exactly?

    Well, due to the case, the future Lances Armstrongs of Japanese basket-ball are losing a chance to train with the most efficient coach in Kansai. That's really bad luck he was caught using an illegal method. Then due to Hashimoto that insisted on suspending the exams, they won't be able to train with his disciples (that hopefully beat as strong as the master). A real tragedy. The kids can still be accepted in other teams in other schools and compete in basket-ball. But their parents think that if they are not punched and kicked "their children would be adversely affected".

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Still not following. (Maybe I'm slow.) If the Sports Class Entrance Exam is suspended, how does this affect the students in a negative way? Seems to me that removes one way of preventing someone from attending the school - allowing MORE students to enroll.

  • -1

    Yubaru

    Still not following. (Maybe I'm slow.) If the Sports Class Entrance Exam is suspended, how does this affect the students in a negative way? Seems to me that removes one way of preventing someone from attending the school - allowing MORE students to enroll.

    That school was particularly known for it's sports related curriculum, meaning that for the most part the kids went to classes maybe half the day and then participated in their chosen sport for the rest of the day. (Read that as less classroom and more play time, expectations for studying lower, an easy ride through HS) The jock class for guys and girls.

    The entrance exam weeded out kids who didnt cut the mustard and no it isnt so tough like Olympic tryouts, but certainly they wouldnt take a kid who couldnt dribble a basketball or know what or how to make a layup in basketball.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Ah, so this wasn't a REAL high school, but a sham for the purpose of getting state-funded athletes onto the Olympic treadmill. Academics were secondary. That answers a couple of my concerns. The reason only this school was required to drop the "Sports Class Entrance Exam" is because the other schools don't HAVE a "Sports Class Entrance Exam". No wonder people were squawking! If the "Sports Class Entrance Exam" was dropped, what purpose would there be for the school? I imagine lots of prefecture funds went into the sports facilities at that school, right? Imagine the horror of having to have those coddled athletes abandon the expensive sports apparatus and suddenly have to spend the majority of the day in academic studies?! I predict a large unenrollment rate as the meatheads transfer to other "Sports High Schools" that include Basketweaving 101 as a core academic course.

  • 2

    southsakai

    I recall last week many here were running with emotions that Hashimoto was only talk in this incident. That he was a liar and just "acted" as though he was concerned.

    Now he's taking some serious action unlike other political folks who just sit around and that's still not good enough. Now people say he's gone overboard.

    The entire school administration needs to be punished. It's clear almost all knew what was going on and turned a blind eye.

    JaymannJAN. 22, 2013 - 01:23PM JST it is horrendous that a politician can strong arm school policy like that. This Hashimoto clown is the worst kind of demagogue.

    When we have weak leaders we complain. Now we FINALLY have a leader who has enough "ahum" to take hard action with the courage to actually try to change policies and we still complain about it.

    I agree though with whiskeysour, the teacher who was beating the student should have been arrested a long time ago!

  • -1

    Yubaru

    Ah, so this wasn't a REAL high school, but a sham for the purpose of getting state-funded athletes onto the Olympic treadmill. Academics were secondary. That answers a couple of my concerns

    Hold one here, YES it definitely is a "real" high school. That is just one area of studies for that particular school, and the BOE decision to eliminate the sports related entrance exam will have little actual effect, cosmetic really, on the new incoming students. They will be taking exams for the general studies course that is also offered at the school, but they will have the sports option as well.

    The reason only this school was required to drop the "Sports Class Entrance Exam" is because the other schools don't HAVE a "Sports Class Entrance Exam". No wonder people were squawking! If the "Sports Class Entrance Exam" was dropped, what purpose would there be for the school? I imagine lots of prefecture funds went into the sports facilities at that school, right? Imagine the horror of having to have those coddled athletes abandon the expensive sports apparatus and suddenly have to spend the majority of the day in academic studies

    Yes other schools have the Sports Class as well, however there are probably very few that have it. However what is totally wrong with this action is that Hashimoto is in effect punishing JHS 3rd year kids for the mis-deeds of the HS.

    The school will still exist even without the sports class. However your image of coddled athletes is a bit off, unless you think bullying and getting slapped around by coaches means coddling. These kids may not study as much as the rest of their counterparts in the school but they spent a grueling amount of time participating in sports activities and that means 7 days a week, because they will practice all week long and then play games on weekends.

  • -1

    tmarie

    Cos, if you think Washington is efficient for the first few months/years after the change over, we've obviously been reading different new sources. Teachers having nothing to do with this shouldn't be changed over. This only screws up the students' education and why should they be victimized twice? What need to be done are those involved need to be removed and this guy needs to be fired and banned from coaching.

    Why should future students and current students suffer from all of this? The sickening thing is the support from many parents for this guy. Not exactly "parents" in my books if you tihnk it is okay for someone to abuse your child.

    And why hasn't this guy been fired and charged?

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    SmithinJapan,

    "how is he in ANY WAY 'right' for the bullying tactics he himself embraces? He doesn't like a comment by the media, he threatens to shun them for good. He doesn't like that a school board and the school disagree with his decision? he threatens to withhold promised funds. He doesn't like that hundreds of people are against him on this while he is the ONLY one for it (besides right-wing nuts with no children at or near the school, if they have kids at all)? he smiles and insults them, declaring he is above them all."

    SPOT on, sir. Spot on.

  • -1

    LFRAgain

    proxy,

    "And exams are not needed."

    Maybe not to you. But this is Japan. And In Japan, the education system is very steeply rooted in Confucian ideals about what education should entail. Exams are but one of those ideals. Elevation of teachers to a position of the utmost respect is another.

    Both of these elements clearly contribute to a whole host of issues, like the physical assault that was taking place at the high school in question. But as most posters here have pointed out (without throwing about insults, it must be said) things work in the public school system far more than they don't. You may not like the system. But then again, Japanese society wasn't created and maintained to please you or any other Westerner who has his or her idea of what the perfect education system should entail, was it?

    The Confucian philosophical model has worked and been at work in this collectivist societies for nearly two and a half millenium, and any suggestion that Japan simply "change" things, as if it were akin to changing a flat tire, suggests either a profound lack of knowledge of collectivism and/or Confucianism, or a stringent pigheadedness that prevents one from accepting that these two things are not only inextricably linked, but also are no more susceptible to wholesale change than the way you walk or talk.

    In short, you're pointlessly railing against realities that can't and don't address the immediate issue of how regular use of corporal punishment by this teacher was allowed to foster at the school.

  • -1

    LFRAgain

    Correction:

    That should read, "The Confucian philosophical model has worked and been at work in this collectivist society for nearly one and a half millenium..."

    Apologies for the error.

  • 0

    proxy

    LFRAgain The Japanese education system is based on the old 19th century Prussian system. It sounds to me like you are just willing to look away and accept that beatings by a teacher are acceptable in the 21 century because Japan is "Confucius."
    I'm pretty sure Confucius said something against making rules and forcing people to follow them and was absolutely against government corruption. If Japan can go against Confucius and have rule filled schools and incredible government corruption, I'm pretty sure that Japan can give up on high school entrance exams.

    Japan is probably more capable of radical change than any society on earth. It went from a feudal system to highly industrialized, to being a militaristic power to being a peace loving business centre in rapid secession. Now it seems to be on a downward spiral, on the way to bankruptcy.

    If the system wasn't broke, fine, but the youth are being driven to suicide and depression in alarming numbers.

    And good luck trying to convince Japanese woman that they must obey everything that their husbands say because that is the ancient Chinese way.

  • -1

    proxy

    @LFRAgain

    And just for your information, Japan ditched the Chinese education system about 900 years ago.

  • 1

    SamuraiBlue

    Again talking without actually knowing he Japanese education system.

    First of all the enterance exam is only part of the total evaluation process for public high school enterance. 50% is dedicated to school grades, another 25% is allocated to the national standardized test taken at each and every JH and the remaining 25% to the actual enterance exam. So 75% is already determined before you take the exam. The reason for taking an enterance exam is to evaluate how the person had studied in the third year comparing to other student at the same level taking the same exam.

  • -1

    LFRAgain

    "The Japanese education system is based on the old 19th century Prussian system."

    "Japan ditched the Chinese education system about 900 years ago."

    These two statements alone say all that needs to be said about your uniquely limited take on Japanese education. Good luck with this bubble you've chosen to live in.

  • 0

    proxy

    LFRAgain

    If you are trying to say the Japanese system is based on Confucius, you are correct in that all modern education and administrative systems are based on Confucius. The idea of running a bureaucracy on merit and not on social class was adopted in Europe and everywhere else based exactly on Confucius. The British education system, the French education system, the American education system are all based on Confucius idea of meritocracy. However in Japan until the end of the Edo era the system was not based on merit, it was based on inheritance. The children of the rich and powerful went to the schools run by the Daimyo and floated into the bureaucracy because they were born into it. Everyone else lucky enough to get an education went to temple schools and even though they may have been the brightest kids in the country were shut out of escaping the class they were born into.

    When Japan modernized it modeled the education system a "hybrid" based on the American system which was modeled on Prussia and the British and French systems which were indeed copied from Confucius ideas.
    The concept of "coaching" or "critical thinking" was a fundamental part of the Meiji era education reforms and based on old Greek thinking not Chinese.

    It was a good start but the entire system was warped by the decidedly un-Confucius, "kokutai" (also from China" notion that led Japan off into its disastrous militaristic phase. The US occupation and Japanese leaders tried to root out kukutai after the war but it still runs deep and Abe seems to want to revise it.

    So yes you may be correct in saying the Japanese system is based on Confucius but only because it was imported from Western countries who had adopted some Confucius ideas into their education systems. However a bigger influence would still be the Prussian system that stressed nationalism or kokutai.

  • 0

    skroknog

    'They can choose not to vote for me.'

    Keep it up, Hashimoto. It won't be long until nobody votes for you!

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    proxy,

    First, let me just say, "Wow."

    "you are correct in that all modern education and administrative systems are based on Confucius."

    No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that Confucian philosophical doctrines have ingrained themselves in the social fiber of Japan from their introduction some 1500 years ago. I'm not talking about concrete systems, curriculums, or what kind of uniforms to wear, all examples of the superficial imports key figures in the Meiji Restoration brought back from their travels across Europe and the United States in the mid-1800s. I'm talking about mindsets and psychology. And the psychological pervasiveness of Confucian principles in Japanese society have been strong enough to endure every incarnation of nationalism, kokutai or otherwise, to come along.

    "The British education system, the French education system, the American education system are all based on Confucius idea of meritocracy."

    No, they aren't. Not even remotely. Western education finds its roots in ancient Greek thought and the Socratic Method.

    "Prussia and the British and French systems which were indeed copied from Confucius ideas."

    No, they weren't. Not even remotely. Western education finds its roots in ancient Greek thought and the Socratic Method.

    You're mixing a whole lot of apples with a ridiculous number of oranges, and tossing in some kiwi and papaya for good measure.

  • 0

    proxy

    Anyway, my two eldest didn't have to write the high school entrance exam. They knew in July that their JH would give them a recommendation to the public high school of their choice. My son's friend just quit high school this week. He selected a public school below his level and now regrets it. Now he has to go to yobiko until the next high school entrance exam. It is a darn shame that they can't just look at his JH marks and let him in. It is too bad more students (all) can't get a recommendation like my kids did. Sure they had a little interview but they were still told in July by the JH principal that the recommendation would not be refused.

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