The government’s Education Rebuilding Implementation Council, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and chaired by Kaoru Kamata, who is president of Waseda University, saw it necessary to recommend teaching morals in order to improve the students‘ emotional education when the panel submits its report on measures against bullying and corporal punishment at the end of February. The council believes that by making it a formal subject for primary and middle schools, a sufficient number of hours will be ensured to teach the subject and the quality of the classes could be improved.
The council met on Friday, February 16, to discuss educational matters, which included anti-bullying measures, corporal punishment of students and moral education. “A majority of panel members agreed that morals should be a regular subject. No opposition was expressed. We plan to compile the report based on this situation,” said Kamata during a news conference after the meeting. Should the proposal be adopted, morals will be included as a regular subject in the official curriculum guidelines, which is set to be revised in 2018.
In June 2007, during Abe’s first term as Prime Minister, the council already proposed to make morals a regular subject in time for the revision of curriculum guidelines in 2008, but the Education Ministry shelved this proposal. The main objection at the time was that making morals a formal subject would be tantamount to making the ethics of a student subject of academic assessment. For this revived proposal, it is expected that teachers unions will object, reasoning that it would impose the state’s values on children or that it is equivalent to a revival of prewar moral education that forced on children to be loyal to the Emperor.[via Asia One]