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2013年12月16日 (月)

教育委員会改革 首長の暴走食い止められるか

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 15, 2013
Board of education reform could lead to abuse of power by local govt heads
教育委員会改革 首長の暴走食い止められるか(12月15日付・読売社説)

In a move that could lead to far-reaching changes in education administration by local entities, the Central Council for Education, an advisory panel, has submitted recommendations to Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Hakubun Shimomura.
 自治体の教育行政の在り方に、大きな転換を迫る内容である。
 中央教育審議会が、教育委員会制度改革に関する答申をまとめ、下村文部科学相に提出した。

The most conspicuous among the recommendations is that the panel favors transferring final authority on educational matters to local government heads from boards of education, while redefining the status of school superintendents, to be appointed by municipal heads to serve as their subordinates, as chief officials in charge of administrative work.
 教育行政の最終権限者を教育委員会から自治体の首長に移し、首長の任命する教育長を事務執行責任者と位置付けたのが特徴だ。

The proposed revamping of education administration comes in the wake of increasing criticism that the existing board of education system, under which decision-making is made through mutual consent among board members—part-time officials selected from among experts in local entities—fails to determine where the responsibility for decisions lies.
 地方の有識者など非常勤の教育委員が合議で意思決定する現行の教委制度は、責任の所在があいまいだと批判されてきた。

It also has been claimed that boards of education often fail to act swiftly when confronted by a serious situation, such as the case of a middle school boy in Otsu who committed suicide in 2011 because of bullying.
大津市のいじめ自殺事件で露呈したように、重大案件に対し迅速な対応がとれないという指摘もあった。

The panel’s recommendations are timely as they are intended to improve the ability of local entities to cope with various problems occurring at schools by giving municipality heads and full-time school superintendents both the authority and responsibility.
 権限と責任を、首長と常勤の教育長のラインに集中させることにより、教育現場で起きる様々な問題への対処能力を高めようという狙いは理解できる。

If the recommendations are put into practice, boards of education, which are currently independent, will be placed under the direction of local government heads, so board members can engage in discussions about broad education policies laid down by those local government heads.
 答申通りになれば、首長から独立していた教委は、首長の付属機関に性格を変え、首長が定める大きな教育方針の審議にあたる。

At present, boards of education are spending far too much time doing perfunctory jobs such as dealing with education personnel affairs by holding meetings two or more times a month.
 現在の教委は、月2回程度の会議で教職員人事など形式的な決裁に時間を割いている。

Advisories nonbinding

If the subjects of discussion are narrowed down to such key matters as leading education principles, boards of education will be able to hold in-depth deliberations about what local entities should pursue.
審議対象を教育方針など重要案件に絞れば、地域で目指す教育の姿をじっくり議論することが可能になろう。

However, there is a danger that the powers wielded by municipal heads could become too strong, jeopardizing the principle of political neutrality of education administration.
 問題は、首長の権限が強くなり過ぎ、教育行政の政治的中立性が損なわれないかということだ。

During discussions by the advisory panel, a number of members warned of this risk.
 中教審の審議過程でも、複数の委員から首長が“暴走”する危険性を指摘する意見が出された。

To prevent municipal heads from acting arbitrarily on their own authority, the council’s recommendations have limited the scope of directions from local government heads to school superintendents to special circumstances requiring urgent action, such as dealing with serious cases of bullying.
 答申が、首長から教育長への指示を、深刻ないじめ問題への対応など、緊急性を要する特別の場合に限定したのは、首長の独断専行を防ぐためと言える。

Boards of education to be created in line with the recommendations would be in charge of checking and evaluating the enforcement of education administration by local government heads and school superintendents, and issue advisories when necessary.
 新たな教育委員会には、首長や教育長の事務執行を点検・評価する機能を与え、問題があれば、首長に対して改善を求める勧告を出せるようにもした。

The panel’s recommendations, however, fall short of giving the advisories any binding power. For example, in the event of a local government head arbitrarily setting education measures that have not been scrupulously studied, in an irresponsible attempt to secure reelection, it is questionable whether a board of education would be able to stop this.
 ただ、答申は教委の勧告に拘束力を持たせていない。仮に、首長が選挙を意識したパフォーマンスで、十分に検討していない施策を強引に推し進めようとした場合、教委がブレーキ役を果たせるかどうかについては疑問が残る。

Should educational goals and a policy of adopting certain school textbooks be changed every time a new local government head is elected, there is a risk of school education being plunged into total confusion.
 首長が選挙で交代するたびに、教育の目標や教科書採択の方針が変わることになれば、教育現場に混乱を招きかねない。

Having received the panel’s recommendations, the education ministry is scheduled to submit a bill for the revision of the Local Education Administration Law to the ordinary Diet session to be convened next month.
 文科省は答申を受けて、来年の通常国会に地方教育行政法の改正案を提出する方針だ。

New Komeito, the coalition partner of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, is wary of strengthening the powers of local government heads.
だが、与党の公明党は、首長の権限強化に難色を示している。

Many tasks need further study, such as how to create a new framework to ensure stability and continuity of education administration.
 教育行政の安定性や継続性を担保する仕組み作りなど、さらに検討を要する課題は多い。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 15, 2013)
(2013年12月15日01時25分  読売新聞)

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