Ministry Gives Boost to Moral Education

The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), May 3, 2014 | Go to article overview

Ministry Gives Boost to Moral Education


To improve moral education, the government has extended financial support to local governments. However, moral education in this country is still in the process of development.

'Can't remember'

"What kind of class is moral education?" asked a former primary school principal who was lecturing at a seminar.

The 24 people attending the seminar tilted their heads, with puzzled looks on their faces.

This was a training seminar organized by the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education for public school teachers held in Tokyo on March 1, before they were officially employed by the metropolitan government.

In this year's seminar, moral education was chosen as a training seminar subject for the first time.

The lecturer answered his own question: "Fostering people who can think by themselves, judge by themselves and act based on their own beliefs. This is moral education."

He then used a video to show the teachers how to draw up lesson plans and utilize reading materials.

A moral education class is currently given once a week at primary and middle schools. However, it is not an official subject and no instructions on how to teach moral education are given. Everything is left to each school. Postwar moral education has been viewed indifferently, partly due to people's negative reaction to prewar shushin, or moral training education, which had been an education based mainly on nationalism.

When the lecturer asked what kind of moral education they had received, the majority of those attending the seminar could not remember.

Improvement necessary

The need to improve moral education was spotlighted anew in 2011 when a middle school student in Otsu committed suicide after being bullied at school.

The budget for moral education for the current fiscal year is 1.4 billion yen, an increase of 600 million yen from the initial budget last fiscal year. Compared to the growth rate of 0. …

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