Panel proposes greater government control on education

The Central Council on Education, an advisory panel to the education minister, on March 20 submitted to the minister a report calling for a major change in the Fundamental Law of Education in order to allow greater government control of education.

Aiming at nurturing a "tough" breed of Japanese who can break new ground in the 21st century, the report calls for educational ideals to include respect for Japanese tradition and culture, and love of the fatherland.

It also calls for Fundamental Education Law provisions banning unjust control by the government on education and limiting the state's involvement to only supplying an appropriate environment, to be changed.

The report cites bullying at schools and non-attendance as the pretext for calling for the present law to be amended. It allows the government, without offering any extra financial aid, to draw up plans, including curriculum changes every five years, a blatant interference in education.

Akahata of March 21 criticized the report, saying that there is no need or reason for the Fundamental Law of Education to be changed. It said that the need now is for the government to allow the Fundamental Education Law to protect rights regarding respect for individuals, peace and democracy as educational goals. It criticizes the panel report for bringing about confusion regarding the goals of education. (end)

Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.