A task force that aims to compile proposals for education reforms in Japan has suggested that moral education be included in the official curriculum for public elementary and junior high schools. Currently, it is considered an extra-curricular activity but the panel is proposing that it become a required subject, using state-authorized textbooks from private-sector publishers.
The panel will submit its final proposal by the end of the year and the Ministry of Education will be reviewing this in consultation with the Central Council for Education, a ministerial advisory body. If approved, they will be including the subject in the 2015 curriculum for public schools. The main reason for this proposal is so it can serve as an anti-bullying measure. There has been an increasing number of reported cases of bullying in schools, with some cases even leading to physical injury and worse, suicide.
But there are also concerns from both teachers and politicians about the wisdom of formally teaching moral values as it can lead to these values being imposed on the children instead of them learning and acquiring them naturally. The panel has recommended using broad standards “such as whether they accord with the principles of the Constitution, other laws and curricular guidelines.” They also say it should be taught by homeroom teachers instead of specially licensed teachers as they can better assess the children using evaluation statements instead of the numerical scores normally used for other subjects.
[ via Mainichi ]
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