Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura met with a ministry panel this week about revising the teaching manual to include moral education as a “special subject” for elementary and junior high school students.
The meeting was a follow-up to a session last December in which a panel of experts submitted a report titled "Special Subject: Moral Education," which advocated revising textbooks to include ethics in the curricula.
The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has indicated its desire to boost moral education for young people in a bid to prevent crimes and bullying, as well as provide greater support for juveniles isolated from society.
The panel has proposed that the government introduce moral education into the curriculum for elementary and junior high school students in 2015 in accordance with the principles of the Japanese constitution and the laws of the land.
The December report says youth problems are becoming increasingly complex due to expanding income gaps in society. It says that juvenile crime can stem from a lack of communication with family and others, an unstable employment outlook and the financial difficulties of parents. It says that approved textbooks should be used for moral education in the classroom.
In the past, plans to introduce moral education into school curricula have met with opposition from some teachers and parents concerned that it would impose certain values on children.© Japan Today