JCP opposes adverse revision of three education laws

As the three ruling parties are trying to push three education bills through parliament, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo called for the bills to be scrapped, saying that these bills, if enacted, will only undermine education. Shii was discussing the problems involved at a news conference in the Diet building on May 31.

The three bills are "revisions" of the School Education Law, the Social Education Act, and the law on local educational administration. The ruling parties drafted them based on the recommendations made by the National Commission on Educational Reform, an advisory panel to former Prime Minister Mori Yoshiro.

Japan's school education is based on competition. The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child in 1998 warned that such a competitive education is doing harm to children's normal development.

Shii said that the bills are aimed to sort children and schools to make more definite rankings, the opposite of accepting the U.N. Committee's recommendation to end excessive competition.

Referring to "volunteer work," Shii said that it is natural for children to take part in various social activities, but the imposition of "volunteer work" goes against education.

The bills will give local boards of education greater control over teachers so that they can dismiss those teachers from schools whom they judge to be "inappropriate" to teach children.

Shii said that the board of education should not bind teachers with rules and control, but help them improve their abilities in studies and training at their own initiative and develop cooperation with parents for better education and schools.

Shii criticized the ruling parties for rushing to get the education bill, that will decide the future of Japan, adopted during the current Diet session which will end only in a month. (end)

May 30-June 5 Contents