Chair-throwing coach named "super teacher" in Japan

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TOKYO, Sep 15 (Reuters) A Japanese teacher who threw a chair at his students was named ''super teacher'' by the local board of education despite having been reprimanded several times for using corporal punishment, a news agency said today.

The 52-year-old high-school teacher in Kyoto has been awarded the title every year since 2005 in spite of a history of aggression in the classroom because his strict teaching methods improved his students' performance.

He was punished three times between 1997 and 2001 for physically attacking students, including throwing a chair at the volleyball team he was coaching, and was again accused of corporal punishment this year, Kyodo news agency said.

The teacher, who was not identified in the news agency report, resigned yesterday, having been on medical leave since the latest accusation. He was selected as a role model due to his ''outstanding achievement in leading the volleyball team'', Kyodo said, citing board officials.

Japan's school system has been at the centre of heated political debate for some time. Some politicians have demanded stricter discipline at Japanese schools, including harsher forms of punishment, to improve overall standards.

But others say that school children are already under too much pressure due to a heavy workload, a strict exam system and frequent cases of bullying.

REUTERS GT PM1836

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