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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 February 19 - 25  > Abe seeks boards of Education that will allow authorities to control education: Shii
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2014 February 19 - 25 TOP3 [EDUCATION]

Abe seeks boards of Education that will allow authorities to control education: Shii

February 21, 2014
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on February 20 criticized the Abe government’s proposed reform of the current board of education system as an attempt to greatly strengthen administrative authorities’ control over school education.

At a press conference in the Diet building, Shii commented on the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s approval of the Abe Cabinet’s proposal for the reform on the previous day.

Excerpts of his comment are as follows:

In the proposal, the national government intends to authorize local government heads to submit plans for their entire education program. It also intends to shift the education authority which currently resides in the Board of Education to municipal heads so that they can make decisions in regard to the establishing or abolishing public schools, changing the fixed number of school teachers and staff, and disciplining teachers.

The proposal also states that a local authorities’ leader can appoint and dismiss the head of the Board of Education’s administrative body.

The proposal allows the education minister to use his/her power to, for example, order an education board to reverse its decision. Under the existing law, the minister can issue a correction order only when the ministry regards that board’s decision will trample on children’s right to learn. The proposal, however, will provide the minister with more opportunities to issue orders.

Abe’s educational reform policy is moving ahead in parallel with the scheme to enable Japan to use the collective self-defense right by reinterpreting the Constitution in order to change Japan into a nation fighting wars abroad.

The JCP demands that the education board system be revised not in Abe’s proposed manner, but in democratic ways so that the board can play a role to reflect in educational administration the voices of students, their parents, local residents, and teaching and clerical staff at schools.

The JCP will work hard to change the aim of education administration to one respecting and utilizing constitutional autonomy, independence, and freedom of inquiry and freedom from interference.
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