There is a strong demand to fill the pre-determined teacher quota so as to meet today’s educational needs, which are becoming increasingly more complex and diverse. Looking forward over the next ten years, we want to review and reapportion the number of publicly funded teachers. I want to create an environment in which regional communities can plan the number of teachers in advance.
Turning to education that will enable teens, who can now vote, to have the necessary knowledge and values to participate in society, the ministry is encouraging schools to actively introduce mock voting activities and other practical instructions. The data from the upper house election (in July when 18-years olds voted for the first time) should be thoroughly analyzed, and a curriculum to teach political citizenship should be put in place in a balanced way that does not interfere with regular class schedules.
We are planning to reform high school and college education, as well as college entrance examinations. We will solicit the opinions of all those involved in education, and will work to achieve “High School/University Articulation Reforms,” as we expect the introduction of a new examination format to replace the National Center Test for University Admissions by FY2020.
The ministry will actively support a student financial aid system without payback obligation. A recently launched specialized team is currently undertaking a study to determine an optimal design for the aid system. We would like to include it in the 2017 fiscal budget.
The plan to transfer the Agency of Cultural Affairs outside Tokyo must contribute to the revitalization and re-development of the destination region and enhance the ministry’s operational capacities. We are already discussing the complete transfer of the agency (to Kyoto) within several years. I intend to continue working on the initiative.
Regarding the fast-breeder reactor “Monju,” I don’t have any particular timeframe in mind as far as finalizing its new governing body.