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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 April 18 - 24  > Bills to allow state to interfere in education must be scrapped: JCP Ishii
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2007 April 18 - 24 [EDUCATION]

Bills to allow state to interfere in education must be scrapped: JCP Ishii

April 18, 2007
Discussions on bills to revise three education laws -- the School Education Law, the Local Education Administrative Law, and the Teacher’s License Law -- which Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is giving top priority to in the current Diet session, started in the House of Representatives Plenary Session on April 17.

Abe explained that these bills will make clear that “the objectives of compulsory education include fostering a normative consciousness, a sense of public duty, and the attitude to love Japan unquestioningly.”

Education Minister Ibuki Bunmei also said, “With improvements in moral education and learning about the traditions and culture of our nation and localities in class, the government will make efforts to foster the attitude to love our country and our hometowns.”

Japanese Communist Party representative Ishii Ikuko used her question period to demand that these three education bills be scrapped. “Designed to implement the adversely revised Fundamental Law of Education, these bills will seriously infringe on the freedoms of thought and conscience as well as the independence and autonomy of education stipulated in the Constitution,” she stressed.

Pointing out that the governmental Education Rebuilding Council is planning to upgrade the moral education to a regular subject to be taught in classes, Ishii criticized the bill to revise the School Education Law for “instilling a particular sense of patriotic values in students.”

Ishii further criticized these bills for strengthening the authority of the state and allowing it to interfere in education. She pointed out that the bill to revise the Local Education Administrative Law will enable the Education Ministry to instruct local boards of education to rectify and improve their business and open the way for allowing local boards of education to instruct or advise private schools.

The bills will create in schools new posts such as vice principal, head teacher, and supervisory teachers. Ishii pointed out that coupled with the introduction of a teaching license renewal system, the bills will establish a top-down system in order to impose the government educational policies on schools. She expressed her opposition to the bills, stating, “This new school administration system will only make teachers feel intimidated and concerned about their superiors’ demands and intentions.” - Akahata, April 18, 2007
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