Wednesday, September 23, 2009

DPJ AT THE HELM / Minister aims for spring start to free high scho

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Education, Science and Technology Minister Tatsuo Kawabata early Thursday announced his intention to make public high school education effectively free from next spring by having the related bill pass as a part of the fiscal 2010 budget bills in an ordinary Diet session next year.
To secure necessary funds for the plan, which is estimated to cost about 450 billion yen a year, Kawabata emphasized the need for increasing his ministry's budget. "We'll eliminate wasteful spending in the ministry, but I don't think that will be enough," he said.
Regarding the details of the system, Kawabata implied both the possible adoption of an indirect provision--in which the government would grant money equivalent to tuition fees to prefectural governments or educational corporations--and direct payments to parents, the payment method the Democratic Party of Japan proposed in its manifesto.
"It's still debatable if the direct payment to individuals is the best way. I haven't decided yet," Kawabata said. Related link

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