When talking about Japan and the Japanese people, we often associate them with words like politeness, intelligence, and health.
However, what’s the thing which makes Japanese people so different from the rest of the world?
One good guess may be their amazing education system which is also one of the best in the world.
Their education system is based on some wonderful aspects which have been of immense contribution to the harmonious society there.
Even though they have similarities in their education system with the Western World like exams and uniforms, there are some things you may have never heard of.
10 Reasons Why the Japanese Education System Is Amazing
- Teachers don’t send students out of the class
Regardless of where we live or the culture we share, there will always be some children that will misbehave. And, these children are one of the many challenges teachers face in their work, including Japanese teachers.
However, unlike in other countries where sending out the misbehaving students out of the classroom is common, it’s not a practice in Japan.
Their constitution states that ‘all people shall have the right to receive equal education’ and they stay calm and composed rather than sending the children out.
Their teachers must be some very patient people!
- The meal is same for everyone & it’s students who serve it
In Japanese public schools, everyone gets the same meal unlike in other countries where students can choose between bringing their own lunches and eating food from the cafeteria.
In Japan, regardless of the children’s preferences, they’re educated to eat the same meals and finish in a specific time.
For some occasions, they allow lunch boxes, as long as it’s all in compliance with the school’s rules.
The lunches are free of sweets and unhealthy foods and rich in rice, veggies, fish, seaweed, and chicken.
In some schools, you can also see that students are also serving meals to their classmates dressed in gowns, white masks, and bandanas. After the finish lunch, they also clean and return their containers.
All of this is done under teachers’ supervision. This helps the students learn about the responsibility for keeping our surroundings clean and the importance of serving others.
- Manners before knowledge
In Japan, students don’t have exams until they reach grade four. They may only get some smaller tests.
This is because they don’t want to judge the children’s knowledge or learning capacity, but to focus on establishing good manners and work on their character.
They’re taught about respect, gentleness towards animals and nature, as well as some vital life qualities like self-control and justice.
- Their academic year begins on the 1st of April
April the 1st coincides with the most amazing natural phenomena in the country- the cherry blossoms.
And, their academic year has 3 trimesters- one begins on the 1st of April and lasts until the 20th of July, the second one begins on September the 1st and ends on December the 26th, and the third one starts on the 7th of January and ends on the 25th of March.
Their students get 6 weeks of holidays during the summer season and 2-week pauses in spring and winter.
- Workshops and after-school activities are common
In Japan, you can often see a group of children coming back from their after-school activities in the evening.
Smaller children have an 8-hour school day and may also study during holidays and weekends.
This is why there are rarely students who repeat grades, including primary, lower secondary, and secondary school.
- They learn poetry and calligraphy
Calligraphy is commonly taught in Japanese schools as a way to teach children to respect their culture and traditions.
For Japanese people, calligraphy is art and it’s no less popular than traditional painting.
Moreover, they also learn Haiku which is a type of poetry using simple expressions to express deep emotions.
- There are no janitors, children maintain their schools
In Japan, the schools don’t rely on janitors to keep the premises clean. Instead, it’s students who clean their campuses, toilets, and classrooms.
They’re helped by teachers, school staff, and school leaders, including the principal and vice principal. Each person gets a specific area to clean.
They even have a specific term for the time dedicated to cleaning on a daily basis or souji.
- Pen & Paper over Technology
Even though Japan is one of the most advanced countries in the world of tech and science, technology is rarely seen throughout their schools. And, in many schools, pen and paper are used over computers.
However, slowly, technology is working its way into their school system and there are cases when we see computers being used for presentations or air conditioners instead of ventilators.
- They need to wear uniforms
Beginning from middle school, Japanese students are required to put on uniforms.
A lot of schools have their own types of uniforms, but traditionally, these are military style uniforms for boys and sailor suits for girls.
Uniforms help increase the discipline among students and also encourage their working attitude and help unify all classmates.
- Their rate of attendance is 99.99 percent
Although it may be difficult to think that one has never missed a class in school at least once, in Japan, this is a very common thing. They’re actually almost an entire nation who hasn’t.
Japanese people are also rarely late for school or work.
Moreover, 91 percent of students listen to their teachers and don’t use phones during class. A teacher can take it away from the student if they notice him/her using one.
And, there’s no school bus in Japan- students usually ride a bike, walk or use public transport to get to school. It’s only in university that you can see the students driving their own cars.