The Central Council for Education has been examining the formulation of the Second Basic Plan for the Promotion of Education in response to a consultation by Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, since June 2011. A report has been compiled at the Council’s General Assembly held on 25 April, 2013.

The report starts off by stipulating that what is most needed by the country is independent learning by each and every individual which leads individuals to be autonomic, collaborative and creative.

In addition to the above, in order for Japan to overcome the critical situation it now faces, the first section defines a path towards building a lifelong learning society based on the proposed model of autonomy, collaboration and creation. In order to realize this, the education plan sets forth 4 basic directions such as developing social competencies for survival.

Based on these 4 basic directions, the second section of the Council report also sets forth 8 performance targets along with 30 basic policies through its systematic classification: “4 Visions, 8 Missions and 30 Actions.”

The main focal points of this report are as follows.
-A much broader analysis has been made on the situation now faced by Japan, and a direction for future education has been defined.
-In relation to the 4 basic directions, importance has been placed on continuity throughout an individual’s entire course of educational study starting from preschool education. Instead of focusing on issues in relation to vertical divides, issues are put in shape from the perspectives that thoroughly incorporate each school stage.
-Upon implementation of the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle, several specific targets and indexes have been defined.

Upon presenting the report, Council Chairman Akio Mimura stressed that throughout the deliberation process, there was a prevailing sense of crisis more than anything else, on the situation faced by Japan.

The report also begins with an introduction of the government’s acknowledgment of the need to tackle the critical situation faced by Japan head on. It continues on with a strong request to swiftly implement the various necessary reforms and policy.

Based on the Council’s report, MEXT will continue to work towards revising the Plan to be approved in a Cabinet meeting.

(Lifelong Learning Policy Bureau, Policy Planning and Coordination Division)