We have few details on the Japanese education system at this time. Of course the organization and age of the children has canged over time. We have little information on earlier periods. We have some information on the modern system. We do not know how common nursery schools are. There seem to be quite a number of kindergartens. I an mot sure if kindergrten is required. Presumably the children would be about 5 years old. Smocks are not a common school grment in Japan, but they are cmmonly worn in Japanese kindergartens. We believe that children begin primary school at age 6. There are currently 6 years of primay school which mean children in the final years are 11-12 years old. There are then 6 years of secondary school. Generally this is split into junior and senior high schools. Japanese students graduate at age 17-18 years of age agter 12 years of primary and secondary schools.
We do not know how common nursery schools are. There seem to be quite a number of kindergartens. I an mot sure if kindergrten is required. Presumably the children would be about 5 years old. Smocks are not a common school grment in Japan, but they are cmmonly worn in Japanese kindergartens.
Launching a modern educational system was on of the major reforms of the Meiji Emperor Emperor in the late 19th centuries. These were the first schools made available to the great mass of the Japanese public. Japanese officials modeled their new education system on European schools. Primary schools were established throughout Japan including the rural areas. Japanese children begin primary school at age 6. Virtually all Japanese children now attend primary school. Entering school is a very important event in every child's life. Parents by a new suit or dress for the children and there is an elaborate ceremony at school for the new entrants. There are currently 6 years of primay school which mean children in the final years are 11-12 years old. Almost all primary education is provided through public education. Very few children are home schooled. Japanese law make this very difficult and the schools are both effective and safe. There are a small mumber of private schools. One estimate suggests that private schools educate only about 1 percent of Japanese children, one of the lowest ratios almong any democratic, industrial nation.
Public education in Japan is free. There are, however, various school expenses for which parents are responsible, including school lunches and supplies. There are also optional school-related expenses such as extra books, tutors, and jukub (cram schools). These expenses increased substantially during the 1980s as pressure to get into the fright schools increased. One estimate suggested that these expenses exceeded $1,000 annually. This of course is only a fraction of the cost of private education.
Primary school classes tend to be large. They are mormally larger than in America and Europe. They average about 31 children per class. This is ot optimal, but possible in Japan because the children are generally well socialized at home by their parents before ebtering school. Teachers generally organize the children into work groups, both for academic and disciplinary reasons. Japanese teachers set high discipline standards and seek to inculcate a sense of individual responsibility. Schools appoint student monitors to enforce school rules. Japanese schools do not have janitors like American and European schools. Rather the children themselves are responsibility for cleaning both their classrooms and school common areas.
There are then 6 years of secondary school following primary school. Until after World War II, most Japanese children ended their education after completing primary school and did not continue on to secondary school. This was especially the case in rural areas. Generally secondary education is split into junior and senior high schools. Japanese students graduate at age 17-18 years of age after 12 years of primary and secondary schools.
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