Panel discusses revision of teaching manual to include moral education

Feb 19, 2014 JAPANTODAY
TOKYO – Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura met with a ministry panel this week about revising the teaching manual to include moral education as a “special subject” for elementary and junior high school students.  The meeting was a follow-up to a session last December in which a panel of experts submitted a report titled “Special Subject: Moral Education,” which advocated revising textbooks to include ethics in the curricula.

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has indicated its desire to boost moral education for young people in a bid to prevent crimes and bullying, as well as provide greater support for juveniles isolated from society.

The panel has proposed that the government introduce moral education into the curriculum for elementary and junior high school students in 2015 in accordance with the principles of the Japanese constitution and the laws of the land.

The December report says youth problems are becoming increasingly complex due to expanding income gaps in society. It says that juvenile crime can stem from a lack of communication with family and others, an unstable employment outlook and the financial difficulties of parents. It says that approved textbooks should be used for moral education in the classroom.

In the past, plans to introduce moral education into school curricula have met with opposition from some teachers and parents concerned that it would impose certain values on children.

Japan Today

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New moral education textbook announced

The Japan News — Feb 15

The education ministry on Friday announced a fully revised book for moral education in elementary and junior high schools.

The ministry plans to distribute it to all students in time for fiscal 2014, and has spent about ¥980 million to make about 10 million copies. Education minister Hakubun Shimomura told a press conference that the book’s contents encourage students to think independently about moral values and social norms and act accordingly. The ministry hopes it will be used not only in classes, but also at home and in local communities, he said.The new edition features many readings that are not included in the current one. They cover such great historical figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa, renowned athletes Hideki Matsui and Homare Sawa, and Nobel laureate and Kyoto University Prof. Shinya Yamanaka.

News source: The Japan News