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January 05, 2004

Almost Half of Governors Unhappy With Education Boards

Almost half of the nation's governors say they are unhappy with local education boards and that they should be overhauled or scrapped altogether. In a Kyodo News survey of the 47 governors carried out in December, 19 said the boards should be restructured, 2 felt they should be scrapped, while another called for a new system to boost local educational reforms. The current decentralized system was implemented in 1948 to wrest control away from a central government whose policies before and during the war were seen as totalitarian. Many of those polled felt that the boards, whose mebers are appointed by leaders of local government, are politically neutral and successfully incorporate the views of people in local communities. However, five of the governors critical of the system say they believe the regional boards are still too influenced by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The ministry plans to carry out reforms later this year.

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