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Chapter 1   Progress of Japan's Elementary and Secondary Education Reform and Future Issues
Section 1   Progress of Elementary and Secondary Education in Post-War Japan
2.   Qualitative Improvement of Education

  Along with the quantitative growth of education, the qualitative improvement of education has made progress amid rapid social changes, such as a rise in income level and fast urbanization due to rapid growth of the economy.

  The government set up the Course of Study as the standard for curriculum in order to provide opportunities for everyone to receive school education of a standardized high quality wherever one lives in the country. Authorization of textbooks is to be made based on the Course of Study and each school is to provide education in accordance with the level of development of pupils and local situation, while using textbooks as an important part of the teaching materials. As will be described in detail later, the Course of Study has been revised roughly every 10 years in order to enrich and carefully select educational content in response to social needs and changing trends. In particular, the revision of the late 1950s and 1960s attempted the enrichment of educational content in order to respond to the development of economy and society.

  As a result of systematically increasing the number of educational personnel, classroom sizes of less than 45 pupils was realized in 1968 and classroom sizes of less than 40 pupils was realized in 1980-1991. While rapidly increasing the number of teachers, salaries for teachers were also increased as a result of the establishment of the so-called "Educational Personnel Securing Law" in order to secure excellent teachers by offering better remuneration for teachers than for other general personnel in public service.

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