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2008年7月 3日 (木)

教育基本計画

(Jul. 3, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Close scrutiny needed on education budgets

教育基本計画 必要な予算を精査すべきだ(7月3日付・読売社説)

It was inevitable that the government's basic education promotion plan, which was approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday, did not include numerical targets for education budgets and the number of teachers to be increased.

国の教育振興基本計画に教育予算や教員増の数値目標が入らなかったのは、やむを得まい。

The Education, Science and Technology Ministry failed to show clear grounds for setting such targets, and so it needs to thoroughly go over its original plans so that it can make proper budgetary requests in the future.

文部科学省は明確な論拠を示せなかった。しっかり検証し、今後の予算要求にメリハリを付けるべきだ。

The basic plan, the first of its kind compiled in line with the revised Fundamental Law of Education, is supposed to shape visions on education for the next 10 years and present policy measures for the next five. A number of measures were included in the plan, but as long as budgets for backing up those measures remain unclear, the government's intention to attach particular importance to education as a foundation for the nation may end up as an empty slogan.

改正教育基本法に基づく初の基本計画は、今後10年間に目指す教育像と直近5年間の教育施策を描くものだ。多くの施策が盛り込まれたが、裏付けとなる予算があいまいなままでは、「教育立国」も掛け声倒れに終わりかねない。

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Trillions of yen no small matter

(莫大な予算を必要とする)

What caused this situation?

なぜこうなったのか。

Other than education, the nation has a number of important issues to address, such as social security. Considering this, the government has maintained a policy of cutting spending under its new "big-boned" economic policy.

教育以外にも社会保障など重要な課題が山積している。その中で、政府は「骨太の方針2008」で歳出削減の方針を維持した。

But this is not the only reason.

ただ、それだけではない。

The education ministry was criticized during the process of drafting the basic plan that it lacked numerical budgeting targets. The ministry then hastily hammered out a target of 5 percent of the nation's gross domestic product for education budgets for the next 10 years.

Though the figure is at the average level among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member nations, raising it to that level from the current 3.5 percent would mean an additional allocation of 7.4 trillion yen.

文科省は原案作成の際に教育予算の数値目標がない点を批判され、急きょ、10年間の目標値として経済協力開発機構(OECD)平均の対国内総生産(GDP)比5%を掲げた。現在は3・5%で、7・4兆円も上積みが必要だ。

In showing the breakdown for the increase, the ministry changed the budget for primary and middle school education from 3.7 trillion yen to 2.8 trillion yen and that for high school education from 2.5 trillion yen to 3.5 trillion yen.

Numerical targets that can be changed so easily by about 1 trillion yen make them seem unrealistic.

内訳を示す過程で、初等中等教育予算が3・7兆円から2・8兆円へ、高等教育が2・5兆円から3・5兆円へと変転したこともある。1兆円が簡単に増減する数値目標に現実味はなかった。

(make them seem 文法: make+人+動詞の原型=人に~させる)

How much will need to be budgeted for educational visions and bringing them about? This should have been taken up in the more than a year of discussions by experts at the Central Council for Education.

教育で目標とする児童生徒の具体的な将来像を描き、それを達成する施策にはいくら予算が必要か。1年以上の中央教育審議会の議論では、こうした点こそ専門家に検討してもらうべきだった。

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An investment in the future

(教育とは将来への投資)

Children's academic abilities are said to be worsening. Although the public is very concerned about academic performances, the basic plan did not include any numerical targets.

学力低下が懸念される中、国民に関心の高い学力面の数値目標は計画に盛り込まれなかった。

It is true in a sense that educational achievements can be hard to quantify. But ministry officials or education circles as a whole may be too soft on themselves. It is necessary to check if such an attitude caused their failure to provide convincing grounds for increased education budgets.

教育の成果が数値で測りにくいのは一面で事実だろう。だが、文科省をはじめ教育界全体に甘えがないか。こうした姿勢が、教育予算の説得力を欠く一因になっていないか。点検が必要だ。

What the ministry should do is place priority on creating an environment that prevents any negative effects that could happen at schools by the implementation of the new teaching guidelines, which are to increase the content to be taught.

文科省が優先すべきは、学習内容などを増やした新学習指導要領実施に伴い、学校現場にしわ寄せがいかないための環境整備だ。

The new guidelines will take effect in full from fiscal 2011 at primary schools and from fiscal 2012 at middle schools.

全面実施は小学校が2011年度、中学校が12年度である。

The ministry must come up with alternatives that do not stick to its initial plan to increase the number of teachers by 25,000 as stated in the draft of the basic plan. Close examination is needed regarding the number of teachers, which has remained insufficient despite efforts that include reemploying retired teachers and asking locals to pitch in.

文科省はいったん原案に掲げた教員増2万5000人に固執せず、知恵を絞らねばならない。退職教員や地域の人材を生かすなど、努力を重ねてもなお足りない教員数を精査すべきだ。

(pitch in=協力する)

Education is an investment in the future--or in other words, the nurturing of human resources. Many people realize the importance of education.

教育は、人材育成という未来への先行投資である。その重要性は多くの国民も承知している。

Budgetary requests for the next fiscal year will be made next month. The ministry must present a concrete and realistic budget and the reasons for it, and try to secure support for its position.

来月には、来年度予算の概算要求の時期を迎える。具体性のある現実的な予算額と理由を示し、理解を求めていかねばなるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 3, 2008)

2008730144  読売新聞)

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