Teachers union holds 21st congress

The All Japan Teachers and Staff Union (Zenkyo) held its 21st Congress July 23-25 in Chiba Prefecture and adopted a special resolution calling for cooperation among teachers, staff, parents, communities, and people in defending the Constitution and the Fundamental Law of Education.

Delegates shared the view that the Koizumi Cabinet in the name of "structural reform" wants to abolish governmental subsidies to public schools and use "educational reform" to intensify the competition that focuses on creating future elites and patriots.

Zenkyo President Ishimoto Iwao pointed out that the present tendency toward a "two-party system" is aimed at adversely changing the Constitution and the Fundamental Law of Education in order to make the nation and people capable of fighting in wars.

Participants agreed to promote a major campaign to establish schools that allow children's participation in cooperation with parents and communities.

In the discussion, a teacher from Tokyo reported that Tokyo's Board of Education punished a large number of teachers on the grounds that they were against the "Kimigayo" and the "Hinomaru" flag at school. He added that backed by a mounting call for a student-centered ceremony, students at one high school made their own graduation ceremony a success without hoisting the "Hinomaru".

Japanese Communist Party Vice-chair Ishii Ikuko and President of the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) Kumagai Kanemichi gave speeches as guests at the opening of the Congress. (end)

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