Several problems Osaka prefectural senior high schools face


Osaka prefectural senior- high- school teaching staff’s union
April 12, 2003
*The small amount of money spent on education
Osaka prefecture located at the approximate center of Japan has the second largest population, 8.8 million. The money whch was spent on education by the prefectural government of Osaka in fiscal year 2002 was about 653 billion yen, which was only 20.7 % of the total money they spent.
*The highest prefectural senior- high- school fees in Japan
Parents must pay 144,000 yen in annual fees per student at Osaka prefectural senior high schools, the highest among public senior high schools in Japan. Moreover, the government has decided that parents will have to bear the air cooling expenses of 6,000 yen annually from 2004 on.
*Class-size reduction rejected by the government
In Osaka prefectural senior high schools there are about 3,500 classes, where approximately 11,000 teaching staff, including 8,800 teachers, are in charge of over 140,000 students. Surprisingly enough, each ordinary class consists of as many as 40 students. For several years our union has kept demanding the government reduce class-size from 40 students to 30 so that teachers can provide their students with more individual attention and help students improve their achievement, but our demand has been rejected.
* A plan to decrease the number of schools
Osaka prefecture has about 150 prefectural senior high schools. Every year some 92 % of junior-high-school graduates enter them, but more than 7,000 ones are not admitted to them because of the limited enrollment.  Nevertheless, the government has made a plan to decrease the number of prefectural senior high schools by 20. In fact, the plan is being carried out against our objection.
*Only the 17 schools for the elite treated favorably
This year, out of all the prefectural senior high schools the educational administration has selected 17 ones, aimed at fostering the growth of the intellectual elite of Osaka, to be treated favorably in terms of maintenance expenses and teaching staff. At the same time, and more surprisingly, a few ones ―in which a lot of economically disadvantaged students had studied or are studying―have been, or are being, closed.