Nowadays, the reorganization of Kominkan is proceeded by the organizational transfer to the local chief executive department or the introduction of the specified management system. Recently, The Japan Society for the Study of Kominkan, started to work on the topic related to the reorganization of Kominkan. In this study I analyzed the reorganization of the Kominkan.
In this paper, I attempted to examine the Kominkan reorganizational cases in Iwate Prefecture’s Kitakami City, with the main purpose of community developing activities; the case in Yamagata Prefecture’s Kawanishi-machi which is managed by the Specified Nonprofit Corporation; the case in Okinawa Prefecture’s Nago City where jurisdiction was transferred to the chief department; and finally the case in Fukui Prefecture’s Sakai City, which provided the regulation for the establishment of an ordinance “regarded Kominkan as a facility based on the Social Education Law”.
For the future studies, it will be necessary to examine how Kominkan should exist and how community centers that are transferred to the local chief executive department or community facilities should exist? Future research should also examine the relationship of the embodiment of the residents into the municipal charter, the relationship of the municipality’s comprehensive plan and education promotion basic plan, and the relationship between towns, people and job creation comprehensive strategies.
These days in adult education, there is a movement to reconsider the operation of public facilities up to now concerning the abolition of facilities. The Kominkan system was abolished March 31, 2016 in Moriguchi City and the facilities were converted into community centers. As major turning points, (1) transfer from the board of education to a department head, (2) institutional staff in the facilities, (3) change of the community system. Because these 3 quick reorganization points were performed in a period of about 3years, and, confusion was brought to the workplace and community.
In addition, business and courses held at Kominkans were forced to be reorganized, and employees of the main office went to the facility to carry out projects and courses, and now we are promoting social education projects in whatever kind of system exists.
In this paper, from the case in Moriguchi City, administrative and citizen movements in the transfer from Kominkan to community center are organized from administrative materials, residents’ exercise materials and so on. And while transferring from the Kominkan to the community center, we will discuss the impossible process of Kominkan activities from the staff point of view. Finally, we reconsider social education from the problems held by Kominkans in Moriguchi City, and state the necessity of seeking “a new Kominkan figure” existing in the lives of local residents.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake, the existence of social education facilities including Kominkan, Community Learning Centers, which became evacuation sites for quake-affected people was questioned.
Today, 70 years have passed since Kominkan was first established, and a restructuring is being promoted throughout the country. The city of Date in Fukushima abolished Kominkan and put up a new sign that says Koryukan, Community Interaction Center. The reason is that the use of Kominkan was largely restricted by the Social Education Law; and there was a problem with using it for a wider range of purposes. It was necessary to do the change if Kominkan was to be used as a base of revitalization of the community in the future while the nuclearization of families progresses and the problem of declining birth rate and aging population increases.
However, this effort to create a regional autonomous organization to deal with various issues and to secure a place of community learning has not solved many problems such as the absence of specialized staff and the vulnerable financial base.
In future, securing the educational opportunities for Koryukan staff and development of a structure and activities for community learning as a local autonomous organization is strongly desired.
Shortly after World War II, the initial concept of the Kominkan was proposed and established throughout Japan. Kominkans have a long history as a place to communicate with local residents, work towards community development, and solve life’s problems. Although each community faces its own reality regarding social resources, complicated interpersonal relationships, etc., disparity in development has led to distinct characteristics.
However, Kominkans are currently under intense reorganization, and are affected not only by the social education administration, but also by administrative policies based on the new liberalism since the 1990s, resulting in an intermittent and discontinuous course rather than successive development of the initial concept. Their position as local educational institutions has become ambiguous and their value to society is in doubt.
Basically, it is important that the autonomous policy decisions of local municipalities be reached through a regional democratic process: deliberation and agreement. This thinking has gained social rationality and the trust of the local residents. However, the problem is that the municipal administration is involved in the redistribution of resources. Hence, the role of the local kominkan is to create an environment where resident awareness is formed through the ‘learning process,’ in order to handle the realities of the community.
The operational structure of the Kominkan in Matsue City has changed three times. First was direct management by the Matsue City Board of Education. The next was reliance on an area volunteer operational commission. Present is the Designated Manager System for each area operational commission. When the Designated Manager System was started, there was no big change. The reason is because the operation system called Matsue style had been used for a long time.
The staffing systems are a part-time Matsue City official as the director and staff members of the area operational commission. The Chief and Senior managers with social education qualifications are designated by the Matsue City Board of Education as Kominkan social education officers. The Kominkan in Matsue City has relationships with various bureaus in Matsue City management.
The feature of Kominkan in Matsue City is that area activity is being promoted in addition to the promotion of social education. Kominkan and an area social welfare council are the partner to promote welfare activities to solve local problems. Three items were introduced by this paper. In the future, it is necessary to plan not only for problems of senior citizens, but also for an approach to those of the younger age group and working aged generation.
This paper constitutes an attempt to develop an interpretation at the general and abstract level of the text of Article 23 of Japan’s Social Education Act, which regulates “management policy for community learning centers (kominkan),” or stated in more concrete terms, so-called “usage restrictions” on community learning centers. The discussion gives particular attention to specific cases (e.g., examples in practice), in reference to the Article’s Paragraph 2, which states that such facilities “shall not support specific religions or otherwise assist any specific denominations, sects, or cults.”
The following points are revealed through this discussion.
Community learning centers are not permitted to “support specific religions or otherwise assist any specific denominations, sects, or cults.” Accordingly, it is understood that simply allowing such groups the use of community learning centers does not amount to “support” or “assistance,” and thus does not constitute a problem.
·There are no arguments against recognizing the right of the public administration to allocate permission to use community learning centers (kominkan), and it is necessary to enact laws and regulations governing permissible and impermissible use.
·When processing applications for permission to use community learning centers (kominkan), value judgements on the part of the facilities’ operators are not permitted. Rather, such operations must be performed in accordance with uniform and neutral standards (subject to the limitations of the law).
·Regarding the refusal of permission for applications to use community learning centers (kominkan), the interests benefitted by granting permission, in terms of protecting fundamental human rights, such as freedom of assembly, must be compared with the interests disadvantaged by the foreseeable dangers of granting permission (balancing of interests).
·Regarding the determination of dangers, the mere probability of a dangerous situation arising is insufficient; rather, there needs to be a “clear and present danger.”
·Notably, constraints of spiritual freedoms like freedom of assembly must be carried out under strict criteria that go beyond constraints governing freedom of economic activity.
·The blanket application of usage restrictions includes the danger of constraining “freedom of assembly” (Article 21 of the Constitution of Japan).
Fourteen years have passed since the designated manager system was begun in 2003 by the revision of the Local Autonomy Law. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the legal issues concerning the designated manager system, and to make clear the problems that were questioned, focusing on the introduction process of the designated manager system in Chiba City. The contents of this paper are as follows; (1) legal issues surrounding the designated manager system, (2) the history of the Kominkan in Chiba City, (3) the process of adopting the designated manager system in Chiba City, (4) discussion of a citizens’ group for considering the Chiba City Kominkan and its petition adopted in the Parliament in December 2016, (5) problems in introducing the designated manager system to the Chiba City Kominkan, (6) in conclusion - issues concerning the designated manager system and other remaining issues.
The aim of this study is to clarify the role of community education in people’s vocational life through a practice in which community education has played a significant role in resolving local problems in connection with the industry of remote island regions.
In recent years, the fishing industry has declined rapidly due to the destruction of the ocean ecosystem. Transformation of the industrial structure is considered to be necessary as a development strategy for the development of the economy. Fishermen, who have lost their means of living, have to learn new skills to change their jobs.
Through a case study in Zhoushan City, this study has examined the practice conducted by a community school, which has engaged in offering vocational training on the skills matching new industries, to support the fishermen to change their way of life. It was revealed that community education has taken a significant role in supporting the people who are at very high risk of falling into unemployed or poverty, in following its historic character of adult education. Under the tendency that civil education has become a more and more popular part of community education, it is necessary to reconsider the essence of community education in relation to the role of labor.
In recent years, efforts of youth education in Kominkan have declined, while measures to support youth independence centering on welfare and public health fields are expanding. Amid these current circumstances, vigorous activities are continuing at Kunitachi City Kominkan (Tokyo) in the “Coffee House” of youths who have been working with disabled people since the 1980s. This paper is a practical report aimed at considering the meaning of learning by youths based on the descriptions of the youths themselves; the author has been involved as a staff member in this program.
In order to clarify the background of the practice of the current “Coffee House” Chapter 2 reviews the history of this practice. It is confirmed that the youth room and coffee corner in the Kominkan became the “place of residence” of the youths who were learning alongside the disabled people, and have influenced the community-making symbiosis.
While providing an overview of the participation of youths of the present “Coffee House,” chapter 3 includes a concrete description of the diverse background of the youths, their process of learning, and the transformation of their cognition. At that time, referring to the recent “Practice Record Magazine” issued by Kunitachi City Kominkan, we discuss the words that the youths have used to describe and consider the meaning of that learning.
Participating youths are caught up in the practice of “Coffee House” by some chance, gradually making relationships with others. Through this, the values of the “Coffee House” are internalized, and some youths draw on how they became involved in the operation of the course.
The future task is to reexamine “independence” from the practices of the youths reported in this paper, and to reexamine the existing value of Kominkan practices and the social education staff.
Recently, social education budgets have been reduced under the administrative and financial reforms of local governments. Further, social education is to be a tool for the achievement of administrative goals and it is because of these restrictions that the independent activities of the citizens are being obstructed.
The purpose of this paper is to consider the role of public social education on the development of residential self-government through collaboration between social education facilities and an Non-Profit Organizaiton (which is called “the learning promotion center”) in the Itabashi City.
Through the collaboration, the learning promotion center has acquired the learning methods for developing residential self-government. The center had only this mission before the collaboration. On the other hand, social education facilities could provide the environment and opportunity where the youth and adult learners have been independently active. Also, the facilities could change the management of the facilities to democratic management through the participation of the residents and the NPO.
In conclusion, the role of public social education on the development of residential self-government is to initiate the residents into the methods to be able to stick to residential self-government at their own request. If this is possible, we may be able to find the methods to overcome a crisis of residential self-government in the future.
International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA) VI Mid-Term Review Meeting will be held in Korea in October 2017. This paper explores future potential of Kominkan-CLC (Community Learning Centres) for promoting adult education, in coordination with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030. Lifelong learning--in particular, adult literacy--is a top priority of CONFINTEA and SDGs. In many Asian countries, equivalency programmes and CLCs are key strategies to promote education for all and lifelong learning. An Equivalency Programme is to provide alternative learning opportunities for out-of-school children, youths and adults, equivalent to formal education. CLCs are a community-based learning space for all including equivalency programmes and also community development activities. A Kominkan is recognized as a good model of CLCs through exchange programmes over the years in the region. Okayama City, the host of the Kominkan-CLC International Conference in 2014, has promoted inter-country cooperation mainly through receiving study visits from abroad. The Okayama Kominkan staff stated that the hosting of foreign visitors were good mutual learning experiences. Though there are obstacles for inter-country cooperation such as languages, it is hoped that Kominkan-CLC learning networks can be developed in this region, in cooperation with neighbours such as Korea which is hosting the CONFINTEA VI Review Meeting and is recently actively involved in CLC studies in the region.