1.24 million signatures calling for defense of Fundamental Law of Education collected

Opposition to the proposed adverse revision of the Fundamental Law of Education that enables the government to intervene in education content is growing among the people, including teachers and parents.

Eight members of a network of various citizens' organizations and individuals on November 4 visited the Ministry of Education to submit 28,880 signatures calling for the defense of the law as the guiding principle of education in schools and communities. This brings the total number of submitted signatures to 1.24 million.

The eight representatives requested that the government abandon introducing the bill to the Diet.

They pointed out that revising the law will further force children into an even more competitive environment and criticized the government for trying to use legislation to impose "patriotism" on children by directly intervening in education.

A mother said, "Children at present seem to have little self-esteem. Now is the time to make use of the law in education and society."

The aim of the Fundamental Law of Education is to promote the development of personality and social responsibility as citizens of a peaceful state and society, and prohibits improper control by the government.

The government, however, wants to define that the objective of education is to create Japanese citizens who can contribute to the nation and the world. It proposes removing the provisions barring the state from controlling education, and instead adding a provision that the state should determine what the pupils should be taught at primary and secondary schools. (end)

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