"September admission" Why not see me off? June 11, 11:48

"September enrollment" attracted more and more interest in the introduction of the school due to the prolonged school closure. Prime Minister Abe once referred to it as "an influential option," but why did you put it off?
We followed the process with an interview with the head of the LDP.
(Hiroto Furugaki/Shie Kanazawa)

Governor started

"It's time to think about enrollment and start school in September,"

was the recommendation of the governors.

On April 28, governors of 17 prefectures nationwide, such as Governor Murai of Miyagi Prefecture, summarized a message requesting the government to consider including the introduction of "September admission" at an online meeting. While the school was temporarily closed due to the effects of the new coronavirus, the aim was to secure class time and catch up on learning by shifting the time of entrance and start of work.
Similarly, Governor Koike of Tokyo and Governor Yoshimura of Osaka claim.
Some governors opposed it, but there was a growing demand for the introduction of "September admission."

Prime Minister is also motivated

"I would like to consider various options for Maehiro,"

Prime Minister Abe said the following day at the House of Representatives Budget Committee.

The word "maehiro" was taken as "the prime minister is also positive," and the debate over "enrolling in September" was sensational.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology was promoting a simulation to shift the start time from April next year in preparation for the case of prolonged school closure, but the discussion was focused on the start time. Therefore, under the deputy secretary-general of Sugita, the government set out and examined the issues of the "September admission" system at a meeting attended by secretary-generals of relevant ministries and agencies.

Long history

In the first place, the "September admission" system is an old and new theme that has been discussed for more than 30 years since the Nakasone Cabinet.
Most of the major countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and France are "September enrollment", and the main reason is to meet international standards.

The 1st Abe administration has established an "Educational Revitalization Conference" to discuss "September admission" at universities and graduate schools. It led to the revision of the rule that allows the start of work to be other than April at the discretion of the university.

The party's pledge in the 2012 House of Representatives election, in which Abe regained power as the LDP's president, also stated that "promotion of university admission in September".

This time again, there was a voice from within the LDP that the "September admission" should be introduced.
Abe's request, including acting secretary-general Inada, is that Abe should positively consider "entering in September", saying that "a social change that turns a pinch into an opportunity should occur."

A person with experience of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology also said, "We will consider means etc. at the party on the assumption that it will be introduced. Unless there is a simultaneous school closure, this task will not work. This should be an opportunity to realize "September admission"" I was enthusiastic.

And Abe also stepped in.
At a press conference on May 14, he said, "It's one of the strongest options," and he said that he would consider it while observing the situation of future school reopening and its impact on society as a whole.

In a poll...

Around this time, public opinion was "agree" exceeded "agree".
According to a poll conducted by NHK, 41% of respondents and 37% of respondents agreed to change the entrance period to September.

As a result, the leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party, who are promoting the introduction, shouted that they were “responsive”.
"The government's response to corona continues to be criticized. It is also important to formulate a policy that will benefit the future," said an LDP minister with experience. There was also a glimpse of the idea that the introduction of "September enrollment" would lead to the rise of government.

Start discussion

The LDP will set up a working team and start the study.
Former chairman of the former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, who is close to Abe, was appointed. At its first meeting on May 12, it was confirmed that the recommendations to the government would be put together by the beginning of June, three weeks later.

However, Shibayama said from the beginning that he felt that there were many challenges in introducing "September admission."

Former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Shibayama
“Given the positive opinions from the governor's association, they suddenly gained public attention, and while they do not know how long the emergency declaration will continue, many people in the opinion poll said However, as a person with experience of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, I knew that there were considerable problems to be solved."

These concerns are immediately revealed in a report by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), as an example of starting "September enrollment" from next year, will simultaneously enroll all the children born during one year and five months from April 2, 2014 to September 1, 2014 at the same time. He showed a plan to make it into the first grade.
On the other hand, he pointed out that many problems will occur, such as the number of students in the first grade increased by about 400,000 from the average year, securing teachers and classrooms, and the need to amend more than 30 laws.
In addition, "September enrollment", which is realized by shifting to the back instead of advancing to elementary school, is similar to the original "September enrollment", which was aimed at accelerating the start age of compulsory education. There were some voices of concern over the disadvantages, such as legislators, saying it would be non-existent.

Be cautious

Then, on May 14, the declaration of emergency was lifted in 39 prefectures nationwide.
Under such circumstances, people in the education, local governments, and other related parties have been cautious in their opinions.
At a hearing conducted by the Liberal Democratic Party's work team, Aiji Tanaka, President of Waseda University, said, ``It would be a big backlash if the students who were going to graduate in March next year and were planning to get a job are unable to earn income. There is a property."
Satoshi Ogihara, chairman of the National Association of High School Principles, stressed that "there are too many issues, such as changes in the school system, personnel affairs of teachers, and restructuring of the entire curriculum, so careful consideration is necessary."

Furthermore, the National Association of Mayors and the National Association of Municipalities reported that more than 80% expressed a cautious position or dissenting opinion on "September admission" as a result of the questionnaire to the mayors. "Now we have to put all our efforts into infection control, we are not in the situation of discussing "enrollment in September"," "it will affect many aspects such as hiring staff," he said.
Shibayama revealed that the direction of the proposal was already solidifying around this time.

Former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Shibayama:
Actually, as the hearing of the people involved increased, I felt that introducing it immediately would be a heavy burden. I have to sit down and consider it separately from the guarantee of learning.

Following the hearing, the argument of caution has grown stronger.
On May 22, about 60 members of the Liberal Democratic Party filed proposals against the urgent debate and proposed to the executive office because of fears of increasing numbers of children on standby and serious labor shortage.

Fumiaki Kobayashi, director of the youth bureau, who summarized the recommendations, appealed, "The people are worried."
In addition, a number of protest phones and e-mails against the "enrollment in September" have been sent to lawmakers. Especially, there were many opinions from parents of preschoolers.

"In September, I'm worried that the nursery will keep the school until I enter elementary school."
"I hear that the number of children and students in the first grade will increase 1.4 times during the transition period. I'm worried that I won't be disadvantaged when I get a job.''

"We received dozens of times as much opinion as the bill that would allow prosecutors to extend their retirement age," said one LDP official.

Opposite chorus

And May 25th.
At the meeting of the working team, where all LDP members can attend, there were controversial debates centered on young members, saying, "We should take the voice of the field seriously," and
"it is difficult to obtain the public's understanding

Shibayama recalled that the meeting was an "opposite chorus".

Former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Shibayama
“The final decision was made on May 25. Some of the successive Ministers of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology had a strong opinion that the introduction from next year would be “what could be done”. There was a gap between the tone and the tone. I really felt that the gap was so severe."

One of the members of the promotion group said unfortunately that the flow was decided at this meeting.

Prime Minister carefully

Abe received a report about this meeting.
In a press conference that immediately followed, "September enrollment" was one of the leading options for ensuring children's learning, but he said, "In addition to the situation of school reopening, not only children but also parents. I would like to carefully consider the impact on society as a whole. We must avoid hasty," he said.

Abe told the executives of the Liberal Democratic Party at this time, "I will not speak out," a person said.
It seems that he decided to entrust it to the party's discussions as the cautious theory expanded.

See off conclusion

On the other hand, there was also an opinion within the LDP that "the option of introducing next year should not be completely eliminated."
Former 9-year-old Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Shimomura, etc. will be temporarily closed again and it will be necessary to prepare for cases where it is difficult to catch up on the delay in learning, so we will continue to study for the introduction of "September admission" from next year. I asked Shibayama to try to rewind.

However, the caution was not weakened.
At the end of May, Abe said to the LDP officials, "I will not do it anymore," and said under the surface that he was willing to postpone the introduction.
And June 2nd. After gathering opinions, Shibayama visited the Prime Minister's official residence and handed Abe a final proposal.

The recommendation suggests that the introduction of "September admission" can be an opportunity not only to respond to internationalization but also to realize the social and educational reforms required in the Reiwa era. "It is difficult to introduce the most recent one like this year and next year" because it requires a certain agreement and a certain period of time.
For future discussions, he called for consideration of experts' opinions and the voices of the general public carefully.
On the other hand, Abe said, "It is difficult to introduce a system with the latest revision of the current fiscal year or the next fiscal year when the emergency declaration has been lifted and the government is firmly working to secure the guarantee of learning." It was
"September admission" was, in effect, the moment when it was postponed.
Shibayama explained the background of this conclusion as follows.

Former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Shibayama
said, "Public opinion was initially in favor of "September admission". However, the emergency declaration was canceled nationwide, and in June there was a gradual reopening of the school, I felt like I was in the opposite direction, either half or many, which also supported our judgment."

On the other hand, some point out that the cabinet approval rating may have influenced the decision.
One cabinet minister said, "I think it was decided that there was no need to choose a policy that would divide the party and public opinion amid the decline in the cabinet approval rate. There is a possibility that it has been lost.”

The opposition

In response to the series of events, the Chairman of the Constitutional Democratic Party's Azumi Diet measure said, "I would like to consider various options for Maehiro," said Prime Minister Abe, without considering the educational setting. Is very heavy, and I think even elementary school students should say, "I want to encourage the government and the ruling party to devote themselves."

On that basis, he said, "Whether or not "September Admission" should be discussed thoroughly over the next five or ten years, we should make every effort to resolve the delay in studying this year."
In addition, the National Democratic Party says that “September enrollment” itself should be postponed because it has too much impact on preschool children, while there are gaps and delays in learning among examinees. The university entrance examination should be delayed twice in spring and summer only next year.

Mr. Tamaki said, "The government should be irresponsible just to postpone the introduction of September admission, and should show a policy about when university entrance examinations are concerned for examinees."

A national debate on the future of children

The Liberal Democratic Party's recommendation also states that the government should consider the possibility of introducing fall enrollment in a meeting under the Prime Minister.
When Abe received the recommendation, "It is significant that many people have been interested in the issue of "September Enrollment." It would be great if we could continue to stay calm and discuss in the proposal." Said that.
Shibayama also said, "It is appropriate to have a thorough examination of all educational reforms, including entrance into the fall, across ministries and agencies. We would like to establish a forum and hold discussions with the parties."
The government and LDP will continue to consider this as a long-term issue.

While the school was temporarily closed, I (Kogaki) talked with my wife about entering the school in September every day. The second daughter is 6 years old. If introduced, it could have been affected.
Some, like my family, may have doubts, fears, or expectations.
Needless to say, sufficient changes in the entrance dates, etc. will have a great impact on the future of children and will affect the way Japanese society as a whole, and that sufficient national debate will be required.

I want to keep a close eye on its whereabouts.
(Honorific title omitted)

Hiroto Furugaki
, Reporter of the Ministry of Political Affairs, joined the company in 2010. After going through the Kyoto Bureau, went to the political department in 15 years. From the fall of 18 he was in charge of the LDP Hosoda school. The father of three daughters.

Shie Kanazawa, Reporter of the Ministry of Politics Joined the company in
2011. After going through Yamagata and Sendai stations, went to the politics department. From the fall of 19 he was in charge of MEXT.