Q30: It is often said that schools are closed off to the community.Don'tyou think that it is essential for schools to listen to the opinions of parents and local people and reflect those opinions in school management in order to dispel such criticism?
A:Indeed we do,which is why the followingmeasures are being taken to address the is-sue.
lmplementation of Self-Evaluation for SchoolEducational Activities
From now on,schools will be required to further strengthen cooperation and collaboration with households and the local community in order to provide education which meets the individual characteristics of each and every child and makes active use of the special features of the local community.To this end,it is important to aim for the de-velopment of open schools where parents and local people can gain a full understanding of the educational policies of principals and what kind of educational activities are being implemented under those policies.As part of this,it is essen-tial that schools make self-evaluations of the kind of education they are providing and its re-sults,to inform parents and local people and clearly explain those results in order to make clear that schools are providing a proper educa-tion.Calling on parents and local people and providing them with explanations will build relationships of trust between schools,parents and the local community and create an environ-ment for the healthy development of children.With this in mind,the Ministry of Education,Science,Sports and Culture(MESSC)has re-quested boards of education to make active ef-forts to formulate educational objectives and educational plans for each school at the begin-ning of the fiscal year and brief parents and local people,as well as to provide explanations on self-evaluations conducted in such areas as the state of schools' academic results.In addition,MESSC has undertaken research into methods for implementing more effective self-evaluation.
Introduction of the School Councilor System
There have always been a variety of opportuniti-es for schools to hear opinions on their educa-tional activities from PTAs,alumni associations youth organizations and other related organiza-tions in order to strengthen cooperation and col-laboration between schools,households and the local community.In order to make schools even more open to the community in the future,MESSC has undertaken studies into the intro-duction of the School Councilor System.In this new system,schools would not only be able to cooperate with local organizations outside the school,but also to receive opinions and advice from parents and local people and to reflect the-se in school management.Specifically,school councilors would be cho-sen from among a wide range of people,includ-ing learned individuals from outside the school,representatives of related organizations,youth groups and other institutions,and parents,in accordance with the type of school and its ob-jectives.In response to requests from principals,councilors would report their opinions on the school management being undertaken by those principals,for example on school education or the means of promoting cooperation between the school and the local community,and offer ad-vice.It is hoped that the School Councilor System will develop into a system through which local communities provide strong support to schools,thereby enabling schools to participate actively in a variety of unique educational activities.