The Ministry of Education conducted a survey spanning 10 months starting April 2012 to March 2013, and it showed that 840 teachers used some sort of corporal punishment on their students. This is more than twice the 404 cases from the whole fiscal year of 2011.
The 10 month numbers also beats the record of 494 cases in fiscal 2003, which already span 12 months. The ministry will be releasing the full-year total, including separate tallies for public and private schools, by June. Of the 840 teachers in the preliminary survey, 416 worked at junior high schools, 220 at high schools, 189 at elementary schools, and 15 at special schools. Even worse, a third of the teachers actually injured the students. A total of 1,890 students experienced physical punishment from their teachers, as per the same survey. The three prefectures that had the highest number of cases were Osaka (96), Fukuoka (77) and Gifu (64). No cases of corporal punishment were reported in Iwate. Only 84 of the teachers received severe disciplinary action, while only two were fired as a consequence of their actions.
Corporal or physical punishment has received national attention the past few months, after several cases surfaced, most notably the suicide of a high school student who was physically abused by his basketball coach. Some local education boards have closely scrutinized incidents, hence the high number of reported cases, as compared to before when most would turn a blind eye on the issue. Just last January, an anti-bullying bill was passed by the Liberal Democratic Party which includes corporal punishment as a form of bullying, and should be reported to the local government if situation becomes serious.
[ via Kyodo News ]
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