Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Japanese Schools

Top 10 Things You Didn't Know About Japanese Schools


Students have summer and winter uniforms, and this includes everything down to their shoes. White with different colored stripes to denote different grades – which is surprisingly useful in identifying students.

Whatever company is producing all these uniforms must be making a killing


No Janitors

Every day, all the students in the school equip themselves with rags, brooms, and dustpans as they take off to a predetermined location with a team of four or five other students to conquer the task of cleaning said place.

For ten minutes in the afternoon, students sweep, scrub, polish, and vacuum their school. Every detail down to scrubbing the toilet bowls is taken care of by the students


No Recess

Junior high schools in Japan do not get to enjoy the glorious period of time known as recess. The only break time they get is fifteen minutes after lunch to hang around in their classrooms or play basketball.


Students eat lunch with teachers in their classrooms

Classes alternate each week between eating in their classrooms and eating in the cafeteria. When eating in the cafeteria, the students have assigned seats (with their classes). When eating in their classrooms, students convert their desks into predefined table groups and eat with their teacher supervising from the front of the room.


They keep journals

Every student has a school issued journal that they are required to write in every day. Their homeroom teachers check these journals daily to keep tabs on student lives. What exactly gets written down in these things? They’re pretty thorough – everything from wake up and sleep times to how much time the student spent watching TV and using the computer.


Pencil cases

Every student has a pencil case. Every student. And these things are fully equipped. Given that a child’s typical means of individual expression (their clothing?) has been eliminated as an option for Japanese students, many take advantage of being able to use their own pencil case as a subtle attempt to inject some of themselves back into their schoolchild shell.

P.S. Although there are other Top 10 things you didn't know about Japanese schools videos you might have seen, our talks about brand new things.


Quiet time

For the last ten minutes of every day, before they either go home or start their club activity, all the students are quartered in their homerooms where they put their heads down on their desks for ten minutes of silent reflection. This time is not for relaxation, this is for the students to think about what they’ve done during the day, what they’re going to do that evening, and what they need to do the following day.


No school buses

In Japanese public kindergartens, mothers take their kids to school, often by bicycle. Public elementary schools and junior high schools are close enough for the students to walk to. High schools in Japan require passing an Entrance Exam to attend… so these schools usually require the students to take a short commute by train.


School year

In Japan, the school year begins in April and ends in March. Also, students in Japan have fewer days off than American students.


No Failing Grades

Students at the elementary and junior high school levels can't fail a grade. They will always be advanced to the next grade regardless of test scores or attendance.

these are the top 10 things you didn't know about japanese schools.

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