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Facts of Japan - School Life
The schools in Japan operate on a basic idea of elementary school. This lasts for six years. Then middle school starts. It lasts for 3 years. After this comes high school and it extends to three years again. Finally the university comes for a total of four years.
In Japan education is quite compulsory till middle school. In order to go to high school and universities, all students usually have to take exams. Almost 90% of the students go to high schools in Japan. Lately, some high schools and middle schools were joined together to form a single study of six years.
The students of high school do not drive the cars. They either walk or travel by bus or train. The high school admission is based on examination and so based on the scores the schools are allotted to the students. For these schools, students sometimes have to travel more than two hours to reach their school. The schools have policies and students are expected to behave themselves outdoors. Every school has their unique uniform.
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In the school all the students have small lockers where they keep their private positions and change their street shoes to school slippers. These slippers usually are color based. Blue color is for boys and pink color is for girls.
The day in school starts with making announcements and taking attendance. The students are usually conduct these activities.
Japanese children go to elementary schools at the age of 6 only. The schools generally start in April. There are always 30 to 40 students in a typical class. The subjects they study are Mathematics, Japanese, Social Studies, Science, crafts, Music and Physical Education. Now most of the elementary schools have started teaching English as well. Schools are using Information Technology to improve and enhance education. All schools have internet.
Shodo which is calligraphy and haiku (the short verse in poetry), traditional Japanese arts, are also taught in the school.
In schools, all the classes have many small teams. These teams do many activities like cleaning the classroom, yards and halls etc. Most of the schools provide lunch at the school lunch center which all the students eat together. The teams will help the others at the lunch time.
The club activities are another important factor in schools. Most schools encourage students to join in one of the two clubs, Sports club (Soccer, kendo, Baseball, Judo, Tennis, Track, Swimming, Volleyball, Soft ball, Rugby) or culture club (Broadcasting, Calligraphy, Mathematics, Science, yearbook). These clubs meet after school hours and they help students socialize themselves so much. The Senior Junior relationship is very well formed in the schools. While the juniors, called as Kohai, are expected to listen and serve the seniors, called Senpai, the seniors are expected to teach and take care of the juniors.
Some video of school life
There are two after school education as well. They are called Cram Schools. These schools provide supplementary education to students. More than 60% of the students enroll in these schools even though the fees are so high. These schools teach the non-academic subjects such as Calligraphy, abacus, swimming, art etc. These studies are essential for preparation to examinations at all levels. They are known as Juku and Yobiko as well. Juku is for high school students and Yobiko exclusively prepares students for the entrance examination to the universities. Both these schools are primarily private.
In 1989, the government announced a course of study in upper secondary schools. This course emphasizes the importance of home economics and aims to bring awareness of family life with students, the roles of family members, cooperation in the family and then the societal responsibilities.