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Japan's education policy to be revised

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Japan has been experimenting with various methods of primary and secondary teaching, in an effort to prevent "cram education" and boost individual potential and ability to think. However, the new education guidelines as set forth by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry have met with heavy criticism from education experts and parents who are concerned that the educational standards have fallen. The Central Education Council has argued that the current educational guidelines focus solely on outlining the minimal material to be covered at schools and dissuading teachers from teaching more difficult courses to advanced students. The head of the CEC, Yusuhiko Torii, has requested that the Ministry clearly state that teachers may teach courses outside the scope of the educational guidelines as well as shorten the summer vacation to allow for more lessons. The Ministry is expected to revise its guidelines before the start of the 2004 academic year.

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