Panel recommends ‘moral education’ to counter school bullying, corporal punishment
Feb. 27, 2013 – TOKYO —
An Education Ministry advisory panel has been convened to propose ideas for dealing with bullying and corporal punishment in Japan’s schools.
In response to student suicides caused by bullying and corporal punishment, which hit the headlines recently, the panel on Tuesday submitted education reform proposals to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Among their ideas was the introduction of morality lessons into the standard curriculum to teach children about the importance of life and right and wrong, TBS reported.
The proposal was made to solve the problem that schools and education professionals have “a different idea about the kind of guidance that should be offered to students,” a spokesperson said. Moral education will not be graded as a traditional subject, but will be taught under a new framework.
Other ideas included introducing systems to ensure that teaching staff and parents are aware of the need to immediately report all cases of bullying to the school authorities and appropriate boards of education, TBS reported. The panel also suggested that in serious cases that could not be solved locally, a third party association should be introduced to tackle the issue.
In response to physical assaults carried out by a basketball team coach on a student who later committed suicide, the board suggested a national set of guidelines for club activities. It also suggested that a system whereby students and guardians had easier access to consultations with the school or education board would minimize the danger of similar incidents being overlooked in the future.