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A civic proposal 2007
A civic proposal 2007
-for institutional guarantee of foreign schools

Draw out
「MULTI-ETHNIC EDUCATION FORUM 2007 TOKYO」executive

A network for a towards institutional security of foreign and ethnic schools



Ⅰ. Introduction

People in the world want peace and living together. However, war has not topped until the 21st century, and the economic globalization makes some people moving across the national border and other people to cross the borders involuntarily. Since the late 1980’s many people from other part of Asia or from Central and South America have visited Japan or have remained in the Japanese community.

Currently, the Japanese society meets not only Korean residents resulting from the Japanese colonial ruling but also foreign newcomers, and the 「multinational, multicultural」 changes are progressing rapidly. The 4th or 5th Korean residents in Japan as well as the 「foreign•national minorities」 (foreign nationality/national minority with a Japanese nationality) who has multi identity based on a foreign roots such as a child of the newcomer or a child of mixed blood resulting from an international marriage with a Japanese people are increasing sharply.

These changes press Japanese society to change into a 「multinational multicultural living together education」 based on the 「multinational•multicultural society」 escaping from the 「national education」 based on the 「racially homogeneous nation」which have shackled most of Japanese so far.
Already the international society adopts a universal standards for securing rights of foreigners and national minorities such as the「Universal Declaration of Human Rights」 「International convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination」 (Elimination of Racial Discrimination), 「International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Civil and Political Rights」 (Civil Liberties Covenant)「International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights」 (Rights to Social Security)「Convention on the Rights of the Child」「Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities」 (Minority Rights) and 「 International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families 」 (Migrant Workers Rights). Each country is required to execute the international right standards as its domestic laws.

Japan has become a member of the UN Human Rights Council, and should take the lead in achieving its duty.
In addition, the deployment of 「multinational•multicultural living together education」 in Japan will bring in diverse cultures for all children and all people in Japan regardless of citizenship, nation or race. It will eventually lead to new social and world views seeking living together and peace instead of prejudice or hatred.

In order to realize the 「multinational•multicultural living together education」 the systematic establishment of a foreigner’s school is inevitable, and should be treated as an utmost task.
We, therefore, make the following 「Civic Proposal」 to Japanese government or further to Japanese society.


Ⅱ Rights to Learning and Education for children of foreign and ethnic minorities.
―― Request from international Human Right Act and the Constitution


The International Bill of Human Rights which Japan has already ratified guarantees in writing the rights to education/learning of children belonging to national or ethnic minorities (right to education) in the Article 27 of Civil Liberties Covenant, in the Article 13 of Rights to Social Security, in the Article 30 of Convention on the Rights of the Child and in the Article 2-2 of Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Those covenants guarantee the freedom of succession language education and succession culture education by establishment and operation of a foreigner’s school by a national or ethnic minority, and the freedom of selecting an educational curriculum by a guardian of the child of the national or ethnic minority. It is clear in the Article 27 of Civil Liberties Covenant or in the Article 30 of Convention on the Rights of the Child for guaranteeing the freedom to use their own language by sharing their own culture 「with other members of the group」 and in the Article 13 of Rights to Social Security for guaranteeing the freedom of selecting 「a school other than a school established by a public institution. In order to guarantee the right substantially the central government and the local governments are required not to discriminate the foreigner’s school systematically or at least to take protection measures by public aid similar to the general private school.

The attitude of Japanese government on avoiding systematic guarantee for the foreigner’s school is clearly against the International Bill of Human Rights. The Japanese government is recommended for changing its attitude by the inspection institutes on the execution of UN International Bill of Human Rights. Those recommendations include 「recommendation for taking suitable measures for elimination of discriminative actions against minorities including Koreans or recommendation for allowing the education by minority language in a Japanese public school」 (Commission of Elimination of Racial Discrimination), 「recommendation for allowing a regular approval of a school which follows the educational curriculum of its mother country in a minority school especially in a Korean school, for allowing a financial aids on the school, and for approval the graduation of the school as the qualification for the college entrance examination 」 (Commission of Social Security). The Japanese government is asked to make improvements on the above recommendations.

On the condition of the understanding of the International Bill of Human Rights, the rights to education/learning of children belonging to national or ethnic minorities are also guaranteed in the Constitution.

In first, the Article 13 of the Constitution (dignity of the human person) is one of the inevitable rights for the survival of personality of national or ethnic minorities’ children, and guarantees the rights of education on succession language and succession culture for each minority child.

The Article 26-1 of the Constitution specifies 「the rights for equal education according to their capability for all citizen by the law」, but considering the importance of education and the International Bill of Human Rights ratified by the Japan it is better to interpret that the right is guaranteed for all national or ethnic minorities in Japan as well as the Japanese citizens. The contents of the 「right to receive education」includes not only the education of Japanese language and Japanese society for living in Japan but also the education on succession language and succession culture to establish identity of a person. As specified in the International Bill of Human Rights, the purpose of education is to develop the possibility and personality of a person especially of a child to its maximum. In order to achieve the educational purpose, it is necessary that children of national or ethnic minority should not be excluded from the public education but they should be educated on the language, history and culture of the group they belong to.

The objectives of「compulsory education」of Article 26-2 of the Constitution includes foreigners. The government has the responsibility of enforcing the same education for foreign children with the Japanese children.

According to the survey by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (August of 2007) and the survey of the Kani city of Gifu Prefecture showed that 20.5 % of foreign children of school age and 26~27% of them are attending foreigner’s school, respectively. Considering the active role and position of foreigner’s school in Japanese school education, the objectives of 「regular education」 as a compulsory education should include foreigner’s schools which perform the 「regular education through the succession language and mother language」.

Ⅲ Themes of the Japanese society of the 21st century
―― Establishment of 「multinational living together education law」and a systematic guarantee of foreign schools

In order to realize the multinational and multicultural living together Japanese society in the 21st century, we suggest the following three proposals.

1. The government guarantees the right of learning for national or ethnic minority children and establishes 「multinational living together education law」 for building a multination and multicultural living together society.

2. Based on the comprehensive and fundamental「multinational living together education law」, the government establishes a law guaranteeing education on Japanese language and succession language/culture for national or ethnic minority in the Japanese national public and private schools (schools according to the Article 1 of the School education law), and takes proper measures for the maintenance and development of foreigner’s school by establishing 「foreigner’s school promotion law」 at the same time.

3. The local government establishes an「multinational and multicultural living together education ordinance」 and begins a concrete and active policies for Japanese schools and foreigner’s schools.

Ⅳ Urgent tasks

The government, parliament, local governments, economic organizations and related institutions should respond urgently as a responsible body in order to realize the above fundamental and inevitable law system. We make the following 11 proposals which can be operated immediately without a special revision of law.

●Comprehensive and continuous research on the actual condition
1. In order to establish the 「multination and multicultural living together education law」the government and the parliament perform a research on the actual condition of the national or ethnic minority children, Japanese school and foreigner’s school.

2. In order to establish 「multinational and multicultural living together education ordinance」 local governments performs a research on the actual condition of the national or ethnic minority children, Japanese school and foreigner’s school.

3. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology performs a total number research on the 「survey on not attending school children and students」 (「a survey on all problems in the student education including problematic behavior of children or students」) in which foreign children or students are not currently included. In addition, a nationwide and continuous research on 「attending school/ not attending school」 for foreign children or students just like the Kani city of Gifu Prefecture in association of the local board of education and NGO or NPO.

●Support for the foreigner’s school (various schools/ unauthorized schools)
4. The government and local governments make the same financial aid for foreign schools listed as a various schools such as Chosen schools, Chinese schools and Korean schools with the private schools.

5.The ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology revises 「the higher civil service examination」and approves the foreign schools such as Chosen schools, Chinese schools and Korean schools 「various schools established for executing elementary and secondary education in foreign language」, and allows tax exemption on donation as an object of 「special non-profit foundation」. In addition, the construction cost for a school building is allowed for a tax exemption as a 「designated donation」.

6. The ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the local board of education allows the children or students attending or graduating from the foreigner’s school (regardless of the various schools/unauthorized schools) equivalent to the Japanese elementary, middle and high schools the qualification of entering and transferring equivalent Japanese schools.

7. The ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, local governments and other related institution take the same measures in school health examination, health care, meal service, insurance and scholarships for students attending foreigner’s school (regardless of the various schools/unauthorized schools) with the Japanese schools.

8. The local governments, economic organization and companies establish a 「foundation for foreign schools」 and collect funds for school operation, textbooks and furnishings in association with concerned people of foreigner’s schools and NGP, NPO. The economic organizations and companies take an active role according to the Corporate Social Responsibility of UN and OECD.

● Support on the unauthorized schools
9. The Prefectures of Japan revises unnecessary restrictions on the self owning and excessive asset requisites of school ground and buildings, and ease the authorization conditions of various schools and associate schools for foreigner’s schools. In addition, the Prefectures of Japan support the translators for the unauthorized foreigner’s schools, help to explain various school systems and application procedures distribute pamphlets in mother language, give substantial advices and supports for authorization.

10. The government and local governments head for 「zero rate for non attending foreign children or students」 by the nurturing facilities and the previous examples of fund raising for running the authorized nurturing facilities or value added tax exemption. They support the unauthorized foreigner’s schools and guardians by funds for authorization or regular operation cost, value added tax exemption, free loan of school buildings or grounds of closed or abolished schools or dispatch of Japanese teachers.

11. Companies of public transportation such as JR allows the purchase of 「commuting pass」for children or students attending unauthorized foreigner’s schools equivalent to Japanese elementary, middle and high schools.

Accepting diverse nations and cultures, and allowing equivalent rights for education for each child will be essential elements in creating a new and complex cultures and enriching minds and lives of people in the society and communities. For the future of children, peace and living together, we want to realize the 「Civil Proposal」in association with all people.


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