EDITORIAL: Moral Education Classes Could Enhance Social Norms of Kids

The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), January 13, 2014 | Go to article overview

EDITORIAL: Moral Education Classes Could Enhance Social Norms of Kids


It is important to cultivate from childhood the awareness to abide by the rules of society and show consideration to others. Therefore, it is crucial to improve moral education.

A report, compiled by an experts' panel on moral education set up by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, calls for moral education, which is not a regular subject at primary and middle school levels, to be treated as a "special subject" to improve the teaching of such classes.

The experts' panel examined the issue after the Education Rebuilding Implementation Council, which works directly under the prime minister, proposed in February that moral education should be made a regular subject as part of measures to prevent bullying at schools.

It is reasonable that the government aims to call on schools to realize how important moral education is by giving it the status of a regular subject, thus improving teaching methods.

Less value has been attached to moral education since the end of World War II in reaction to the moral education in prewar years that was propagated by nationalistic elements.

Currently, one moral education class is offered per week. However, it is up to teachers to decide how to conduct such classes because there is no official textbook. There are differences among schools and teachers in regard to moral education classes.

Some people have pointed out that moral education has lost substance, as some schools use slots designed for moral education to hold supplementary classes in other subjects.

However, many problems must be worked out before moral education can be made a regular subject.

For instance, what kind of teaching materials should be used for moral education classes? The panel's report called for the introduction of textbooks approved by the official screening system to provide teaching materials for such classes. …

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