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【NEWS】August 19 ,2014
“Educational Forum for Opening up a New Vista of the 21st Century” – 2014 National Assembly for Educational Research in Kagawa
“2014 National Assembly for Educational Research in Kagawa” was held in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture from August 16 to 18.  5,000 people in total including teachers, parents and citizens participated in this three-day event.  The event included 7 forums and 28 workshops with the overall theme of “Let us Learn and Talk about the Constitution – For an Education Giving Life to the Constitution and the Convention of the Rights of the Child”. The participants had enthusiastic discussions and exchanged their views.

At the Opening Plenary organized by the host local union entitled “ Welcome to Kagawa”, the participants enjoyed a highly cultural program including the dances performed by local university students, reading of the “Memories of Air-Raid on Takamatsu” by the local association of air-raid victims and their supporters, music played by Ms. Michiko Usukine using Sanukite, a mysterious stone found in Kagawa Prefecture called “Kankan Stone” and the “Igaruga Song” sung by a mixt chorus group.  At the end, all the participants were invited to sing together “Furusato (my home village)” .

It was followed by a dialogue between Haruno MATSUMOTO, picture book writer, and Yoichiro KOMORI, Professor at Tokyo University and General Secretary of Article Nine Association entitled “To Preserve and Revive the Constitution – for the Sake of Fukushima, Peace and Children”. They talked about the importance of respecting diversity of humanity as the foundation of democracy and guarantee of children’s sound development.  Here are some echo of the audience about the dialogue: “Komori-san skillfully synthesized Matsumoto-san’s young and fresh sensibility and made me forget the time passing.  For the young of today as well as for myself, I felt that I have to do anything I can to preserve the Constitution” (participant from Kagawa); “I loved their face-to-face talk. I found many keywords such as picture book, literature, war, Fukushima in it and I was touched profoundly.  Learning that junior high and high school students have taken the street, I wanted to listen to people of different generations and share our ideas and thoughts” (participant from Okayama). 
 
Forums and workshops discussed about the “Education Revival Policy” implemented by Abe Government, with testimonies from schools about how that policy is affecting children and how their right to learn is abused by growing poverty and social injustices.  Many reported about the committed teachers struggling in school or in local community to improve children’s situation. The participants were encouraged by the examples of teachers across the country who, despite their busy work, are trying to listen to children’s voice to understand their sufferings and share their burden.  

To close the 3 day meeting, the Organizing Committee of the “2014 Teachers’ Meeting for Education” issued and appeal “For an Education That Gives Life to the Constitution and the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Ensures the Sound Development of Children”. Also, messages received from NATIONAL UNION OF THE TEACHING PROFESSION MALAYSIA.


 
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