In April1998,second stage revisions of the Program for Educational Reform were made.These concerned the serious issue of juvenile delinquency in recent years,the interim report of the Central Council for Education,and the formation of the1998fiscal year budget and the development of related policies.We have made efforts with these revisions to reorganize the four particularly important pillars of educational reform,and to clearly define the path of reform.These areas are:
(1)To enhance emotional education;
(2)To realize the school system that helps children develop their individuality and gives them diverse choices;
(3)To reorganize schools out of respect for individual schools'autonomy;and
(4)To promote university reform and research activities.
In addition,as concrete contents,having received the interim report of the Central Council for Education published in March1998,the following policies have been incorporated as emergency policies concerning the enhancement of emotional education.
(1)To create guidance materials for teachers,and to enhance research and development into teaching materials for the improvement and enhancement of moral education.
(2)To promote the effective use of spare classrooms as counseling rooms,or"classrooms for easing children's minds,"and to enhance counseling through the cooperation of workers who have experience in teaching and leaders of youth organizations as"advisors in tbe classroom for easing children's minds."
(3)To support home education taking advantage of maternal and child health op portunities,such as granting mother-child health record books and medical examination for three-year-olds,by creating and distributing the Home Education Handbook,a brief handbook describing model home discipline,etc.
(4)To implement the comprehensive five-day school week from the beginning of FY2002,which is one year earlier than planned.In addition,to realize the school system that helps children develop their individuality and gives them diverse choices,the provision to create a unified lower and upper secondary school education system from1999,in accordance with amendments to the School Education Law and other related laws,is being incorporated.Concerning the promotion of reorganization of schools out of respect for individual schools'autonomy,with the report of the Central Council for Education in September1998,the advancement of the realization of independent school management and decentralization of educational authority are being incorporated.Conceming the promotion of univetsity reform and research activities,the promotion of discussions by the University Council and the Science Council regarding policies into the vision of universities in the twenty-first century and scientific research,and the comprehensive development of science and technology research,is being incorporated.
MESSC,based on this Program,is enhancing measures and related policies aimed at system reform,and is working to promote deliberation in the Councils(there are reference materials pertaining to the major points and the current state of progress of the Program for Educational Reform).
Major Points and Current State of Progress of the Program for Educational Reform
To Enhance Emotional Education
To Realize the School System that Helps Children Develop Their Individuality,and Gives Them Diverse Choices
To Reorganize Schools out of Respect for Individual Schools'Autonomy
To Promote University Reform and Research Activities