Report Reform of Seigakuin Education
Establishing the Seigakuin Education Charter
Questioning the current trend supporting a revision of the Fundamental Law of Education
are numerous problems regarding the educational situation in Japan today such as truancy,
bullying, the increase in juvenile delinquency and the trend for younger students to be
involved, the decline in basic academic ability, etc. At the same time the developments in
information technology and globalization require a new educational system. At Seigakuin,
it is considered most important to revise the framework of education for all of its
schools, from the kindergartens to the university and the graduate school.
Minister Koizumi and his predecessors, Prime Ministers Obuchi and Mori, have been seeing
the problem of education as a problem of the Fundamental Law of Education. Therefore,
priority has been given by the government to a revision of the Law in an attempt to find a
solution to the problem.
Fundamental Law of Education, established in 1947, defines the national education system
in terms of character development and maturation. Certain government officials and
intellectuals advocate a revision of the Law, claiming that it is the main cause of most
of the problems in the field of education today.
Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has commissioned the
Central Education Council to review the Law, and it is expected to submit a draft revision
by the end of the year. However, can the revision of the Law serve as an ultimate solution
to the problems of education? When studying the proposed revision, one can observe a drift
toward a restoration of nationalism and an imposition of outdated national identity. There
are many other points that are questionable. For example, the proposed revision makes
voluntary activities quasi-compulsory calling it an "encouragement of public and
social service activities."
contrast to the current political maneuvering, we at Seigakuin believe that the urgent
need is to tackle the issue from Seigakuin's own point of view, creating and presenting
our own vision of education. In keeping with the spirit of the Fundamental Law of
Education, we shall reexamine the education system as a whole and work out new guiding
principles for education in Japan. At the same time, we will also strive to clearly
redefine Seigakuin education. To achieve these goals, the Seigakuin Conference on
Education was established in 2000, and since then there have been ongoing research and
study activities. In this report, we would like to explain what has been done, where we
are now as well as plans for the future.
The Seigakuin Conference on Education: Activities based on unity and shared awareness
Seigakuin Conference on Education was originally planned in 1997 at the Heads of Schools
Council, composed of the chief administrators of the various Seigakuin Schools, with the
purpose of clearly defining what Seigakuin Education is, and announcing a new and unique
orientation for education in the present day, an era of turmoil and significant change
throughout society. In April 2000, the 2000-2003 Committee was established for the
administration of the Conference.
October 23, 2000, the first Seigakuin Conference on Education was held with the
participation of all members of the faculty and staff from the Seigakuin Schools. The
number of the participants totaled 377 and Seigakuin Junior and Senior High School was the
venue for this event. The Conference also established ten sub-committees to facilitate
ongoing research and discussions and for drafting the Seigakuin Education Charter.
second Conference on Education was held on October 23, 2002 at Seigakuin University with
361 participants. In the morning following the worship service, sub-committee sessions
were held and pupils and students gave presentations. The sub-committee sessions continued
in the afternoon and were followed by a lecture by Mr. Tsutomu Hotta, Chairman of the
Board of Sawayaka Welfare Foundation. The lecture, entitled "For Whose Benefit is
Education" offered various valuable insights. An Appeal was made at the end of the
Conference, preceding the closing ceremony.
The most important question is whether we teachers possess a well-integrated personality and the educational skill and leadership necessary to nurture children and young men and women who will be the leaders in the future. With those qualities, we must be capable of developing their intellectual and human qualities, helping them live a life that is democratic, free and peaceful, and train people who will maintain harmony with nature and serve those who are socially vulnerable."