23 October, 2006


Our new Prime Minister Abe promised the nation that one of the top priorities of his policies would include “reform of public education that guarantees every child in the country to obtain high scholastic ability and morality.”

He also announced us with an outline that gives more specific policies such as basic scholarship strengthening program and renewal of teacher’s license. The education reform committee is supposedly coming up with precise schedules and guidelines for schools, and is going to turn in a tentative midterm report next March.

Related or unrelated, the news of numerous bullies and student suicides are stirring up the news scene and society once again. I found a surprising article regarding the 8th-grade-student’s bullied-suicide that happened in Kyushu the other day.

”It’s somewhat nice to know he’s done that”
”Nothing’s different even if he’s not around”
”Maybe I’ll be damned forever”

These are words of those who actually bullied the student, told to friends in school after the student committed suicide. Worse, it is said that some of the students sneered as they looked into the coffin, many times.

I was shocked, it was nauseous. I couldn’t believe these were the words of the same human kind – of who knew the deceased and his life right close by. These kids don’t just lack imagination to the student who killed himself and his family. They lack crucial elements as human beings. This is so much more than “bullying”.

It is truly frightening to think that these kids are going to be freed outside in open air under the sky without being punished by any legal and social authorities. The media may be overdoing things as usual, yet I praise the media of not letting the incident pass by as another bullied-suicide.

What had happened is painful, but what how the case is going to be taken care of as well as how the bullies are going to be treated – whether their “human rights” are going to be prioritized over the victim’s – is going to be as a huge and mentally painful issue, I am sure.

I heard some time ago that in the States, situations improved for some schools that tightened their regulations and punishments.
How is Japanese education going to become? Would the education reform be any good?
People, not to mention the government, should realize and be aware even more that it is education
that forms the basis and future of this country. I am going to keep keen eyes on this topic.

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