Educationalists oppose government panel's focus on nationalism in education

The academic community in education on December 7 held a symposium in Tokyo, with about 400 people attending, to discuss the "review of the Fundamental Law of Education" question that the Central Education Council proposed a month ago.

The symposium was jointly organized by the Japan Society for the Study of Education, the Japan Academic Society for Educational Policy, the Japan Educational Administration Society, and 12 other academic societies. This is the first joint symposium of its kind.

The Central Educational Council, an advisory panel to the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, published a report proposing that the Fundamental Law of Education be revised so that education can produce such people who will work in line with state policy and help Japan survive the fierce global competition.

The report also stressed that education should help create children with patriotism and a strong ambition to have their dreams come true.

Four panelists of the symposium expressed opposition to the "report" on the grounds that it runs counter to the idea of the Fundamental Law of Education which encourages children to grow to work for a peaceful nation and society.

They criticized the "report" for trying to change education into one based on the theory of the strong and old-fashioned nationalism.

Horio Teruhisa, chair of the Japan Society for the Educational Law, said that the "report" calls on children to become "strong" Japanese, but such a thing must not be imposed on all children under any law. (end)