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The educational process for Japanese children starts with the admission to kindergarten and smoothly and continuously flows from one stage to another. Features of school education in Japan are the first to unaccustomed to Japanese schools, we start date of the school year.

For Japanese children’s schooling begins in April. Attribute this to the beginning of the cherry blossom. And why not, when nature is refreshes and smells around such a beauty, and perhaps the mood for study should be higher.

Start the school year coming to our measures at the end of the school year, is unusual for us. Almost all of Europe children start to learn in September, in some countries, no later than October. In America the same academic year in each state has its own date, but the whole educational process in schools begins in August and September.

But in Asia, the beginning of the school year in March and April is not surprising (in Korea, the school year begins in March), in India, the children begin to study in the summer – on June, 1.
Returning to Japan: there are three trimesters in the academic year and the first lasts from April to 20 July, and then the longest summer vacation is provided, the second phase of studying begins on September, 1, and then from 26 December to 6 January there is winter break. The last trimester starts from January, 7 and ends on March, 25. A week later, the students return to their classes, but to the next class.

As you can see a vacation in Europe and US for children is much longer. But Japanese children do not cease to learn during a short break, as they are given homework, and some of them continue their education in special schools and courses. Both parents and students themselves know that schooling does not provide them with sufficient knowledge, thanks to which it will be possible in the future to enter the state university.

Therefore, the vast majority of students attend private schools (juku) and preparatory schools (ёbikoo). Afterschool education usually starts after classes, so it is common when the steets and public transport at 9 p.m. are full of students with bachpacks.

Also children attend additional educational institutions on sunday, despite the fact that the saturday is considered to be a working day. This intensity of training, which bears a mass character – this is another feature of school education in Japan.

The state and national school textbooks are given students free of charge. All schools operate on a single program, approved by the Ministry of Education of Japan, but the elite schools have the right to change them, while slightly changing the number of hours or by introducing additional subjects.

The government (public) schools, class size is high enough, up to 40 people. The class is usually divided into groups of 4-6 people, each of which has its own leader. Groups usualy communicate outside the classroom, the child is never alone, he is always in the society. Active socialization of students is continuing in school.

Schools are usually located close to the place of living of students. The school has its own uniform, the uniform is not mandatory in elementary school, but since high school seyfuku (school uniform) is required. And traditionally for boys uniform provided in military style, and for girls sailor.

As mentioned earlier, for the Japanese student is not necessarily to finish high school, but still more than 95% of children continue their education in high school. And another feature of school education in Japan is that the percentage of public schools implement high school programs are reduced from 99% to 75.7%, coming to replace the state private schools the percentage that increases to 24.

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Comment by Mark Ziebarth on March 7, 2016 at 4:47pm


Thank you for the post.  My wife and I will be hosting a high school student for two weeks this month from our sister school in Japan.



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