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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District


Fifty-seven percent of public school teachers across Japan worked over 80 hours of overtime in the month of July -- passing the threshold for increased risk of death by overwork, according to a survey conducted by a nonprofit organization that supports educators.

The findings suggest that attempts to catch up on lost lessons due to the long closure of schools amid the coronavirus pandemic, as well as extra work related to school disinfection measures and other tasks, are leading to longer hours for teachers, Akira Okubo wrote for Mainichi Shimbun on August 22, 2020. 

Tokyo-based nonprofit organization Kyoiku no Mori carried out the online survey between July 10 and 26, targeting teachers and staff of national, public and private elementary, junior high, and high schools, and special needs schools across Japan, and obtained responses from 1,203 individuals. The nonprofit group asked respondents their average overtime hours on weekdays and days off in July, including work brought home, and used the figures to estimate total overtime hours over four weeks. 

When analyzing data of 935 teachers who work full time at public schools, excluding those in managerial positions, 534 people, or 57.1%, were found to have worked over 80 hours of overtime during the month. For 399 teachers, or 42.7% of the total, actually surpassed 100 hours in overtime work.

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