教育委員会改革 機能の立て直しをどう図るか

The Yomiuri Shimbun April 17, 2013
Functions of boards of education must be rebuilt in stable manner
教育委員会改革 機能の立て直しをどう図るか(4月16日付・読売社説)

The Education Rebuilding Implementation Council, which works directly under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has submitted to Abe its second set of proposals calling for drastic reform of the education board system.

In the proposals, the council clearly states that the superintendent of a board of education, who is appointed by the head of a local government with the consent of a local assembly, is responsible for educational administration. The head of the local government also has the right to dismiss the superintendent under the proposals.

The proposals are aimed at transforming the education board system. Currently, board members and other experts make decisions without any input from the head of a local government.

It has come to light that local boards of education around the country have failed to function properly in dealing with such incidents as one involving an Otsu middle school boy who committed suicide in 2011, apparently due to bullying at school.

Prompt action essential

The government's Central Council for Education plans to study the proposals further.

We hope the panel's assessment of the proposals will lead to rebuilding the educational administration at the local level.

Under the current system, local boards of education have a chairperson representing the board and a superintendent in charge of administrative work. This has raised questions about who is responsible for educational administration.

Except for the superintendent, board members are appointed on a nonregular basis, and they hold meetings only a few times a month. The board's deliberations, therefore, tend to be a mere formality.

It has recently become apparent that they often fail to take prompt action when serious incidents occur, such as bullying and corporal punishment.

The proposals are aimed at correcting these shortcomings and enhancing the board's maneuverability in implementing educational administration with the responsibility and power centering on the superintendent.
However, under the proposals, the authority for the personnel management of teachers and school officials and the selection of textbooks will be the responsibility of the superintendent.
Certain checks and balances are needed to prevent the superintendent from adopting biased policies.

In light of this, the proposals are calling for the maintenance of the education board system, rather than abolishing it. When the superintendent decides on basic policies and other key issues, the proposals call for these issues to be discussed by the entire board.

The method of appointing board members also holds the key for the new boards of education to monitor educational administration.

Political neutrality

The political neutrality of educational administration is essential, as the head of a local government would be empowered with the right to dismiss the superintendent. It is obvious the intentions of the head of a local government will be reflected, more than ever, in educational administration.

Will the head of a local government appoint someone who exercises little discretion in educational administration merely because he or she shares the same political beliefs?

Should the educational targets and policies change significantly every time a new head of a local government is elected, it would cause great confusion among teachers at local schools.

Even if the makeup of an education board changes, it is important to maintain the stability and continuity of educational administration.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 16, 2013)
(2013年4月16日01時05分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2013-04-19 08:03 | 英字新聞

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