- Posted June 21, 2014 by
The Japanese Schooling System
The Japanese are known to be one of the well-educated populations in the world with a 100% literacy rate and a 100% enrollment in compulsory grades. The high-school dropout rate in Japan is only around 2%. The Japanese school system is categorized into gimukyoiku (compulsory education for a period of 9 years), shougakkou (elementary school for 6 years) and chuugakkao (junior high school for 3 years).
Before World War II, the Japanese schooling system was based on a 6-5-3-3 system. However, after the war, the Japanese educational system was reformed and was changed to a 6-3-3-4 system. That translated into 6 years of elementary school, 3 years of junior high school, 3 years of senior high school and 4 years of University. This was similar to the American schooling system.
Most private schools in Japan offer a six year joint program of junior high school and high school. There are some specialized schools that offer a five year school program that covers both high school and two years of junior college. A normal school year has three terms: summer, winter and spring. The school year begins in April and ends in March. Each of the three terms is followed by a vacation period. While the Japanese system follows the American model of 6-3-3-4, there are several features within this system that have been adopted from European models.
There are approximately 23,123 elementary schools in Japan, 13949 Kindergartens, 11035 lower secondary schools and 5418 upper secondary schools. In addition, there are around 3439 specialized training colleges, 1002 special education schools, and 726 universities. There are 39576 elementary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools.
School uniforms are compulsory in the majority of schools in Japan. The Japanese word for uniform is seifuku and school uniforms in Japan were introduced in the late 19th century. The primary goal of the Japanese school uniform is to ensure that all students look alike regardless of their financial background or community status. The uniforms are styled along the lines of European and Japanese military style outfit. Most male students in Japan dress in a gakuran, a two piece military style outfit that is black in color. It can also be dark blue or navy. The uniform for girls resembles that of a European sailor outfit and has been modeled after the British Navy uniform. It includes a pleated skirt and a blouse with a collar. Most of these uniforms have a ribbon on them and the ribbon colors are specific to different schools.
The Japanese schooling system is known for its discipline and integrity. No wonder the population of Japan is one of the most educated and the most literate in the world today.