To all teachers and staff.
We held this rally today, talked about education, and were able to share the joy of being involved in the growth of high school students who live now. At the same time, we discussed many difficulties : the crisis of peace and the constitution of Japan, poverty and inequality, the destruction of public education through the intervention of a private educational industry, the current mechanisms for giving us less authority, and political corruption、and so on. Whichever we choose, it seems like too huge a wall for us to face. Furthermore, we are walled off by another wall of overcrowded labor. At present all over the world the neoliberal policy brings about the same thing, such as closing of schools on principle of competition and separating teachers and staff. What we face every day is what the teachers and children all over the world are faced with.
On the other hand, there is no doubt that the world has made a great advance over the past year.
At the time of last year, we were in a situation where orders about dealing with missiles launched by North Korea were given to schools across the country. However, this April when the Korean Peninsula was at a crisis point of war, each presentative of the two nations divided into north and south shook hands and declared that they would try to denuclearize the peninsula.
And while nuclear powers were surrounded by the power of public opinion, such as hibakusha and citizens in the world, a treaty banning nuclear weapons was decided for the first time in human history. At present the treaty has been ratified by 9 countries, which is sure to increase from now on.
High school students cried for gun control in the nuclear power of the U.S.A., and their slogan of “♯March for Lives” filled the whole country. Dominating others by means of arms and making money with war is against human nature. Who wants to live in agony with arms?
The Japanese constitution thinks highly of the following philosophy aimed for by the humanity. “We desire deeply that all peoples of the world have a peaceful relationship based on justice and order. Therefore, we, the Japanese abandon the special right for the nation to provoke war. We shall not threaten other nations with arms, and shall not use them to solve the conflict between the countries, either. From now on forever.”
It is the power of education that realizes this philosophy. That’s why those who are afraid of it try to intervene in education and control it.
In Osaka, a lot of graduates from the senior high schools used to cry against their mother schools being closed down, collecting signatures to stop it. They used to say, “It doesn’t matter if our school survives or not. What matters is that the closure of the school greatly concerns the whole of Osaka.” We have to be engaged in each difficulty we face every day, which leads to the solution of the big contradiction in the background. However weak, we have to learn together and express ourselves to open up the future and to overcome a lot of obstacles.
To all teachers and staff.
We have been walking with the following mottoes in mind, “Don’t send ever students to the battlefields again.” “Each child has to get a good education.” “ A workplace have to be where everyone can work in safety.”
A union is a place where every member can learn with their fellows and express their opinions without restriction, a place where they share their sufferings and pleasures, and a place where they encourage each other. At the same time, it is an organization where the unjust things are not overlooked and the control over education can be overcome by means of the reason and unity. What we need now is to have close connection with each other. Let’s give a new co-worker a helping hand and walk with hopeful smiles.
May 19th 2018
The 89 regular rally of the teachers and staff union of Osaka prefectural senior high schools
大阪府教育会館 ７Ｆ ７０７号