A School Controlled by Bukatsu  




(Kanto 29 Junior High School Teacher)2017



  I worked at a primary school for years, and was transferred to this junior high school last year. So far, I have found how bukatsu, school clubs, are disturbing.


  The biggest problem about bukatsu is the clubs have too many practices.  Although bukatsu is an ex-curricular activity,


instructing clubs occupy about half of our worktime.  We got the teacher license for giving lessons in classrooms, not for instructing club.  We do not have enough experience to instruct club students, do not have any qualification for intsructing clubs. Above all, we must give up offs on Saturdays and Sundays for these "voluntary" activities.


  We must take bukatsu as our task during the working hours, but must take them "voluntarily" outside the hours, which is quite unfair system for teachers. Actually, if you finish bukatsu within the working hours, we can spare just 20 minutes each day.


  I mailed to an educational authority; How can we finish bukatsu within working hours? The reply is "Please talk with the principal about the matter," giving no advice.


  When the school year end comes, teachers in charge of arranging bukatsu get annoyed. It is not surprising. They cannot arrange fairly, because some teachers can take bukatsu, others can't.


  Each club has their own rules beyond the school governance. The baseball club students run around in the school building on rainy days. The basketball club will not stop practices when students take examinations. The students who are selected for the regional team attend the practice even on weekdays, absent from classes. No one can control these clubs. The clubs control our school.


  I have a one-year-old child. I help him bathe, go to bed, eat, and so on when I am at home. As you know, he needs a lot of help now. I really feel bitter about not spending much time with him. I could accept this situation if I were so busy with proper tasks as a teacher. Actually, however, bukatsu, which is an ex-curricular activity, has been depriving me, our family, of our precious time. I am very angry at this fact.


  Tragedies concerning bukatsu have often appeared on newspapers: students killed in an avalanche, parents sending students in their own cars involved in traffic accidents, serious injuries in judo, students died of heatstroke.


  Although bukatsu instructing teachers support club students voluntarily, they will be to blame if any accident happens.


  I suppose even students are suffering from bukatsu, because they look the most exhausted on Monday morning.


  What do both students and teachers come to school for?  I have been always asking myself, but I have not found an answer yet. It is true that bukatsu can improve students both physically and mentally, but should we teachers keep up with all the bukatsu 



  Apparently teachers have been busier year by year, so it is better to separate teachers from bukatsu.  We are teachers, not sport instructors. Our mission is to let students find how fun learing is.  For example, as an English teacher, I would like my students to find how fun if you communicate with people from other countries in Engish.


  I hope educational authories revise bukatsu system and establish proper environments where we teachers can concentrate on teaching.


Please let us know your impressions.


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