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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 December 11 - 17  > Gov’t panel recommends control of education by power
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2013 December 11 - 17 [EDUCATION]

Gov’t panel recommends control of education by power

December 14, 2013
A government advisory body on December 13 submitted to the education minister a report recommending that local government heads put educational administration under their control. Education Minister Shimomura Hakubun indicated that he will propose a bill to revise the law on local education to the next ordinary Diet session in accordance with the report.

In line with the Abe government’s intent to move the current educational system to the right, the Central Council for Education, a ministerial advisory panel, has discussed the reform of local education boards since April.

At present, members of a board of education in municipalities are appointed from among local citizens. The board has authority to decide on the contents of education such as which textbook to be used in public schools.

The panel’s report proposes to turn the local education board to an organization “attached” to local government leaders as well as to give the municipal heads final authority on educational matters. Local government heads will formulate policy guidelines for education and directly appoint the chair of the board of education. The chair will have complete charge of educational affairs, including personnel matters at public schools, determining the aim of education, and selection of schoolbooks.

Regarding the report, Japanese Communist Party Acting Secretariat Head Yamashita Yoshiki made a comment as follows (summary):

The report by the Central Council for Education will undermine the foundation of the democratic education system which has been maintained since the end of World War II. Against the spirit of the Japanese Constitution, it will violate any sense of political neutrality of education as well as pave the way for controlling the educational system by those in positions of power like in the prewar and wartime period.

The JCP is determined to work together with a wide range of people in order to stop the Abe Cabinet from running wild and to protect the interests of children and democratic education.
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