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2008年6月 6日 (金)

スラチャイと英語を勉強しましょう!

(Jun. 6, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Education spending plan should be more specific

教育基本計画 予算増に明確な論拠を示せ(6月6日付・読売社説)

Education is a matter on which the nation must have a far-sighted policy. Even under difficult fiscal conditions, it is important to secure necessary education budgets. But numerical targets in the Education, Science and Technology Ministry's draft of the government's basic education promotion plan are too sketchy.

教育は、「国家百年の計」である。厳しい財政事情の中でも、教育予算の確保は重要だ。だが、国の教育振興基本計画の原案で文部科学省が示した数値目標は、あまりに粗雑に過ぎるのではないか。

sketchy=おおざっぱな)

The basic plan is supposed to offer a vision the nation aims for on education for the next 10 years, as well as measures that the nation should take for the next five years.

基本計画は、今後10年間に目指す教育像と、直近5年間に取り組む施策を盛り込むものだ。

The ministry said in the draft that the proportion of government spending on education to the nation's gross domestic product should be raised to 5 percent or more in the coming decade. An additional 7.4 trillion yen would be needed to raise the current proportion of 3.5 percent to this 5 percent.

Achieving the ministry's numerical target would require the equivalent of the revenue gained from a 3 percent consumption tax rate.

文科省は、今後10年間で教育への公的支出を国内総生産(GDP)の5%以上にする、と明記した。現在の対GDP比3・5%から5%に引き上げるには、あと7・4兆円が必要になる。

文科省の数値目標を達成するには、消費税約3%分の財源を捻出しなくてはならない。

===

Ministries at odds

(不明確な省庁の考え方)

The ministry was criticized over its failure to include numerical targets during the process of hammering out the draft plan. It then hastily brought up the additional budget, referring to the average proportion of 5 percent of public spending on education to GDP that is found among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member nations.

文科省は計画案作成に際し、数値目標がない点を批判された。慌てて経済協力開発機構(OECD)諸国の平均値5%を目標に持ち出し、金額を積み上げた。

hammer out=粘り強い交渉の末に妥協などをひねり出す)

The Finance Ministry for its part has argued that the nation's education expenditures are comparable to other major nations and that there is no close correlation between educational spending and student achievement.

財務省は、「教育予算は主要先進国に比べて遜色はない」「教育支出と成果は密接な関連がない」と主張している。

(comparable=~に匹敵する、比較できる)(correlation=相関関係、相互関係)

The ministry also has made a counterargument that public spending on education per student is increasing as the ratio of schoolchildren to the nation's overall population is the lowest among OECD members.

さらに、少子化が進む中、人口に占める児童・生徒の比率はOECDでも最低水準で、1人当たりの公的教育支出は増えている、と反論している。

counterargument=反論)

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry also has shown a negative stance toward the plan, arguing that local governments, which cover 70 percent or more of educational budgets, would have to take up additional burdens.

総務省も、教育予算の7割以上を負担する自治体にしわ寄せが行くなどとして、難色を示す。

take up=仕事を始める)

The education ministry thus remains at odds with the Finance Ministry and the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.

文科省財務、総務両省の主張は、対立したままである。

===

Goals to strive for

(努力目標)

Given the current situation that huge budgets are necessary for social security and other areas, the education ministry must present more convincing numerical targets concerning the education budget as well as policy measures.

だが、社会保障など巨額の予算が必要とされる現状を考えれば、文科省は、より説得力のある教育予算の数値目標と施策内容を示さなければなるまい。

numerical targets=数値目標)(education budget=教育予算)(policy measures=施策内容)

For the implementation of the new teaching guidelines, under which the volume of subject matter will increase, it surely will be necessary to have a sufficient number of teachers.

学習内容などを増やした新学習指導要領の実施にあたって、教員の充実は確かに必要だろう。

implementation=実効、履行)

Although the new teaching guidelines are to be implemented in full at primary schools from April 2011 and at middle schools the following school year, it will be applied in advance to science and mathematics courses from next April as students' academic performance in these subjects has been found to be significantly declining.

新指導要領の全面実施は、小学校が2011年度、中学校が12年度だが、学力低下が顕著な理数については来年度から事実上、先行実施される。

Also under the new guidelines, English will be a compulsory subject for fifth- and sixth-year primary school students from the 2011 academic year.

小学校5、6年の英語も11年度から必修となる。

To carry out these measures, the education ministry wants to increase the number of teachers by 25,000. Even if the increase is aimed at avoiding excessive burdens imposed on teaching staff, is it really necessary to have such an increase?

ただ、文科省は、そのために約2万5000人の増員を求めている。学校現場に過重な負担をかけないためだとしても、本当にこれほど必要なのか。

impose=課する、負わせる、負担させる)(impose 人 on 罰金=人に罰金を課する

The draft plan included a target of restoring students' physical strength to the levels seen around 1985. This seems to be a more specific target than previously expressed. Yet, in terms of specific academic performance goals, there are still a number of vague expressions in the draft plan.

計画案は、児童・生徒の体力面の目標では「1985年ごろの水準回復を目指す」と具体性を増したが、学力面ではなおあいまいな表現が目立つ。

physical strength=体力)(academic performance=学力)(vague=曖昧な)

It is true that achievements in education are hard to measure merely by numerical values. But setting targets on students' academic performances would help schools to make further efforts to improve education quality. We hope the education ministry will further strive to make sure the basic plan will be effective.

教育の成果は、数値で測りにくい面があるのも事実だ。だが、学力面での目標設定は、教育の質向上への努力を促すだろう。一層、工夫してもらいたい。

strive=努力する、懸命に試みる、奮闘する、骨折る/争う、競う)

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 6, 2008)

2008660156  読売新聞)

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