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Three adverse education bills forcibly enacted

 

   The Liberal Democratic and Komei parties on June 20 forcibly enacted three education bills that will give the state increased power to control school education by using their majority in the House of Councilors plenary session. The Japanese Communist, Democratic, Social Democratic, and Peoplefs New parties voted against the bills.

 

   Attaching great importance to geducation reform,h the Abe Cabinet has been in a rush to enact these education bills. The cabinet gave the Central Council for Education only one month to discuss the bills in disregard of the normal procedure that takes a year. In the House of Representatives, the ruling parties forcibly established a special committee in order to discuss the bills five days a week since the standing committee on education holds its meetings twice a week.

 

   The JCP opposed the three education bills because they would strengthen state control over students, teachers, schools, and boards of education, and impose more difficulties on schools where a relationship of trust should serve as the basis of activities.

 

   The three laws will (1) establish the fostering of morality such as gnormative consciousnessh and gattitude to love our country and our hometownsh as a goal of compulsory education, (2) strengthen the top-down system in schools by creating new posts such as vice principal and head teacher, create teachers that obediently following their superiors by introducing a system to renew teacherfs licenses every ten years, and (3) strengthen the education ministerfs power to guide local boards of education.

 

   The bills were so hastily discussed and so defective that the ruling parties had to adopt an unusual supplementary resolution that contained as many as 22 items. In a public hearing the House of Councilors education committee held on June 15, only one out of five speakers spoke in favor of the government bills.

 

   Members of the All Japan Teachers and Staff Union (Zenkyo) and citizens have staged a continuous sit-in protest for almost one month in front of the Diet Building.

 

   In a rally held later in the day in which 150 people took part, JCP House of Councilors member Inoue Satoshi said, gThe forces that impose adverse laws using the force of numbers lack the qualification to speak about education.h

 

   Zenkyo Chair Yoneura Tadashi stressed the importance of rejecting the implementation of the three laws in schools. Odagawa Yoshikazu, National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) secretary general, called on the participants to defeat in the upcoming House of Councilors election the LDP and the Komei Party that have pushed ahead with the adverse bills.

- Akahata, June 21, 2007

 




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