The Education Ministry has decided to seek a revision in an education law that would require local governments to include more women and younger people on their education boards so that a greater diversity of opinions will be reflected in local education policies, ministry sources said Saturday.
Critics say that education boards are out of touch with school students, as the bodies are dominated by middle-aged and elderly men.
The ministry plans to submit a bill to amend the Local Education Administration Law to the next 150-day regular Diet session convening in January, the sources said.
The law in its current form stipulates that members of local education boards should be of good character and have deep insight into educational, academic and cultural fields. Members with ties to a single political party should not hold majorities on boards, it says.
The average age of members of prefectural education boards is 64.8 years, and only 23 percent of the members are women.
At boards on the city, town and village levels, members’ average age is 62.4 years and women make up only 18 percent of members, according to the ministry.
The local boards discuss the education policies of their respective prefectural or municipal governments. Members of each board number three or five and are selected by governors or mayors.
In practice, however, many boards merely endorse the education policies of their local governments.
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