(2)Reforms in Higher Schools

The 1918 Higher School Order, based on the recommendations of the Special Council for Education, came into force on April 1, 1919, at which time the 1894 Higher School Order affecting higher schools was rescinded. The 1918 Order was, for all practical purposes, a word for word copy of the recommendations of the Special Council for Education on the improvement of higher schools in the system of higher level general education for boys. The character of such schools was described as places where boys could complete higher level general education with special emphasis upon national sentiment; but in point of fact these schools also functioned as preparatory centers for university admission as before. Just as in the case of the university system, prefectural and private institutions as well as government higher schools were recognized. Local public schools could be established only by the prefectures according to the original 1918 Higher School Order. The establishing bodies of private higher schools who could gain the approval of the government were limited to those foundational juristic persons whose activities were exclusive to the administration of these private higher schools, excepting special cases where the establishment by other foundational juristic persons within the school administration could also be approved. Foundational juristic persons who intended to establish private higher schools were required to have an endowment of no less than 500,000 yen which could draw enough interest to support the higher schools as well as to possess those facilities necessary for the use of the higher schools, and money (or government bonds or other valuable securities designated by the Minister of Education) corresponding to this amount of endowment was required to be deposited to the depositories concerned of the government.

Higher schools were organized on a seven-year system of which three years were devoted to higher courses and four to ordinary courses. In special cases schools could be established with only the three-year higher course. The higher courses were divided into two specialized fields: humanities and sciences. Candidates for entrance into the higher course were required to have completed the ordinary course of these schools or the fourth year of middle schools. A one-year specialized course (senkoka) in one's major study was set up for the higher course graduates who would receive a diploma called tokugyoshi for this specialized training. In order to assure thoroughness in higher school education, special consideration was paid to the number of students enrolled. A maximum of 480 was set for the higher course and 320 for the ordinary course. For those schools which offered only the higher course, the number of students was fixed at 600 or less (not including those doing graduate work in a specialized course). A maximum class size was fixed at forty students for both of higher and ordinary courses.

The Higher School Regulations were issued in March, 1919, and put in force in April of that year, in order to explain the procedures for enforcing the 1918 Higher School Order, especially in the areas of curriculum and administration.

Specific plans for the expansion of the higher school system were not elaborated upon in the recommendations of the Special Council for Education but later the six-year plan for the establishment of government higher educational institutions and the expansion of their facilities stated that a large number of government schools should be established. Up to the year 1918 there existed only the First to the Eighth government Higher Schools, but in the following year four new institutions began instruction in such locations as Niigata, Matsumoto, Yamaguchi and Matsuyama. By the end of 1923 thirteen new government schools had been established in various parts of the country. By 1929 three prefectural higher schools were set up in Toyama (later to become a government school), Osaka and Tokyo and by 1926 four private schools such as Musashi, Konan, Seikei and Seijo started. All of these local public and private institutions were "seven-year higher schools" offering both of the higher and the ordinary courses.

The appearance of the "seven-year higher schools" and the rapid expansion of the so-called "local higher schools" (chiho koko) brought about great changes in the institution's social character and educational qualities. Total enrollment rose from 6 792 students in 1918 to 17 097 in 1936.


(C)COPYRIGHT Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

((C)COPYRIGHT Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)

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