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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 April 1 - 7  > Instilling specific moral education in children using ‘ethics’ classes is unconstitutional
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2015 April 1 - 7 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Instilling specific moral education in children using ‘ethics’ classes is unconstitutional

April 4, 2015
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The Ministry of Education has included specific moral education in its official guidelines for school teaching as a “special school subject”. Moral lessons will start in fiscal 2018 for elementary schools and 2019 for junior high schools.

Teachers will use new authorized textbooks to teach “morals” as a regular subject in classes and will have to evaluate each child’s morality and inner sense in line with the ministry’s curriculum guidelines.

Imposing a particular sense of values on people by state power amounts to violation of the constitutional rights to freedom of thought and conscience.

The serious thing is that the government is promoting special moral teaching together with its attempt to enact wartime legislation and build a nation capable of fighting wars abroad. The ruling elite aim to take advantage of school education as a means of developing the human resources which can easily be mobilized for war.

The Japanese Communist Party opposes the government’s plan to require moral education as a regular school subject and calls for an educational policy to be adopted to cultivate civic virtues based on constitutional principles.

Past related articles:
> Education panel proposes imposition of particular morals [August 26, 2014]
> What was the prewar Imperial Rescript on Education? [June 16, 2014]
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