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Upgrading moral education to regular school subject to be shelved


   A working group of the Central Council for Education, an advisory panel to the education minister, on October 15 decided to put off a decision on upgrading moral education to a regular subject as proposed by the Education Rebuilding Council, the brainchild of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.


   Based on his rightwing ideological standpoint, Abe in his geducation rebuildingh policy aimed at instilling all children with gmoral consciousnessh such as glove for nationh by upgrading moral education to a regular subject, but this policy failed.


   In the working group meeting, members expressed their opposition to making a decision saying, gMany problems remain unresolved such as the relation between moral education and freedom of conscience. Therefore, it is too early to make a decision now.h


   Elementary and junior high school students are currently required to take a gmoralsh class once a week, but unlike regular subjects such as Japanese language and mathematics, there is neither textbooks authorized by the government nor evaluations of results.


   Adhering to the principle that fundamental human rights should be respected based on the Constitution, the Japanese Communist Party has opposed the attempt to include moral education as a regular subject because such a policy amounts to an imposition of prewar values on children in an authoritarian manner.


   The JCP has long been opposed to imposition of state-defined morals and proposed that standards of civic morals be set through national consensus.

- Akahata, October 16, 2007


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