A panel that is tasked with revising Japan’s teaching manual is looking at a proposal to add moral education as a required “special subject” for elementary and junior high school students. Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura is meeting with the ministry panel this week to look at the feasibility of such a move.
Last December, a panel of experts presented a report entitled “Special Subject: Moral Education.” They were proposing that the government include ethics in the approved textbooks when they revise the curriculum for next school year 2015. They say that the content of the moral education subject should be in accordance with the laws of the country, as well as the principles embodied in the Japanese Constitution that was enacted in 1947 after the Second World War.
The report includes information showing that the problems of Japanese youth are becoming more complex because of the changing economic status and gaps within society. The increase in juvenile crime can be traced to a breakdown in communication within the family and peers, and the parents’ financial problems, as well as the country’s unstable employment outlook.
There have been attempts in the past to include moral education in the curriculum, but this has been opposed by some educators and parents as they believe it would unfairly impose values on the children. The current administration has indicated that required moral education would be welcome in order to help curtail juvenile crime and bullying cases.
[via Japan Today]