Why now education free of charge?

In the House of Representatives election held in October this year, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party won the victory, and debate about the free education which was listed in election promises began. In a speech announcement made on 17th November which is the first day of the special Diet session, Prime Minister Abe stated on late stage secondary education and free education of higher education as follows.

No matter how grown up in a poor family, you can go to high school, college, vocational school, university if you have a willingness. Let’s go to that kind of Japan, everyone. Higher education will be made free of charge for truly necessary children.

According to this, it seems that free education and child’s poverty are associated with each other, but the original purpose of free education is not to solve child’s poverty. So why did educational free-of-charge start to be discussed? I would like to think about the background in educational toll free.

Why education free of charge

If educational free-of-charge is done by the administration, there should be ministers in charge. Then, do you know which minister took part in discussing educational freeing? Is it the field of education, so is MEXT Minister? Is it the welfare problem of child poverty, so is Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare? Actually, it is neither. It was a special post called “Minister in charge of human resources development revolution” that took charge of free education.

Mogi who is also concurrently serving as Minister in charge of economic revival as Minister for Manpower Revolution in charge of this revolutionary revolution plays the “securing of educational opportunities including free of charge” as the theme of “human resource development revolution” the Sankei Shimbun reported It is.

When securing educational opportunities, what kind of education stage do you have to keep opportunities in mind? Elementary and junior high schools are guaranteed educational opportunities as compulsory education in Japan and high school can also be regarded as compulsory education essentially from the high school entry rate (98.8% of high school entrance in 2017) . On the other hand, the advance rate of higher education including universities, junior colleges and vocational schools in 4 years is 63.6%.

As quoted at the beginning, Prime Minister Abe mentioned in his speech expressed in free speech education including high school. However, from the above it can be understood that the substantial subject is a university etc. after the high school.

So why is the university’s free-of-charge offering attention as “human resource creation”? It is because it is said that receiving higher education is important in future societies called knowledge-based society. In other words, to “create” human resources with the ability to respond to a knowledge-based society can be pointed out as the primary purpose of free education.
Below I would like to think about this unfamiliar word of knowledge-based society.
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What is knowledge-based society
About this knowledge-based society The report, “The Future of Higher Education in Japan” by the Central Education Council in 2005, states that “New knowledge, information and technology are the foundation of activities in all areas of society, including politics, economics, “We are defining society as a knowledge-based society. On that basis, the report is a characteristic of knowledge-based society,

Knowledge has no borders, globalization further progresses
Knowledge is progressing rapidly, competition and technological innovation are constantly born
Advancement of knowledge often involves a change in a traditional paradigm, judgment based on broad knowledge and flexible thinking power becomes more important
Participation regardless of gender or age is encouraged
We list four points.
In other words, in higher education, Japan is required to train human resources who are the largest resources in Japan, in order for Japan to survive a knowledge-based society with rapid change.

Several questions are raised against the quality of higher education (see the article by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun) but there is no doubt that higher education itself holds the key to Japan’s survival It seems.

In the next article, I would like to think about the capabilities that are regarded as important in such a knowledge-based society.

This report also organizes the relationship between such knowledge-based society and higher education as follows.

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