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On the Conversion of Educational Policy by the Kaitakushi (Ministry of Development in Hokkaido) : The 1874 Formation of the Bureau of Educational Affairs

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  • 開拓使の教育政策の転換 : 1874年学務局・学務係設置を支点として
  • カイタクシ ノ キョウイク セイサク ノ テンカン : 1874ネン ガクムキョク ・ ガクムガカリ セッチ オ シテン ト シテ

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Abstract

The Meiji Restoration government established the Kaitakushi in August 1869 to govern Hokkaido, giving it equal status and power with Hokkaido's local ministries and government offices. Under the leadership of Vice-Minister Kuroda Kiyotaka, the Kaitakushi promoted development in Hokkaido with its significant authority and abundant financial resources from April 1870. In educational policy, the Kaitakushi actively imported Western knowledge and technology and pursued original policies to train useful technocrats and technical experts to develop Hokkaido. For instance, the Kaitakushi sent students to Western countries to study science and technology, established Kaitakushi Provisional College in Tokyo to build a cadre of trained experts to develop Hokkaido, and founded public schools in Sapporo and Hakodate to teach the children of Kaitakushi officials. In this manner, the Kaitakushi educational policy coalesced out of its efforts to cultivate human resources. After the Ministry of Education's 1872 educational system reform, the Kaitakushi was required to follow different policies. Students studying abroad were ordered by the Ministry of Education to return home. The Kaitakushi reorganized public schools in Sapporo and Hakodate into model elementary schools. In addition, the Kaitakushi dissolved Kaitakushi Provisional College and reformed it as Sapporo Agricultural College in order to unify its efforts to cultivate human resources. Moreover, the Kaitakushi set up the Bureau of Educational Affairs in the Sapporo central government office in December 1874. From this new institution, the Kaitakushi began to control private schools throughout Hokkaido. This was an important turning point in the Kaitakushi educational policy. Thereafter, the Kaitakushi advanced the spread of elementary education among the settlers of Hokkaido.

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