The phenomenal turns of the seasons, diverse topography, and rich nature can easily be viewed through the naked eye in the fascinating nation of Japan. The old and the new, and the natural and the artificial merge with such perfection that draws a significant number of tourists to this spellbinding destination, only to increase year after year. But that isn’t all that Japan has to offer. Turn your head towards the city and you’ll find scores of modern skyscrapers and multinational houses lined up along the road. The advanced technology, unique learning techniques, worldwide eminent scholars, and extensive research options are responsible for bringing in a significant percentage of international students to take up higher studies.
Compulsory education begins with elementary school when the child turns six years old. Elementary school comprises of six years of education until the child is twelve years old and prepared to enter lower secondary school. Standard uniforms are maintained at elementary school in Japan; hence, it is common to sight young kids wearing bright yellow baseball hats, carrying bright yellow umbrellas, and adorning bright yellow raincoats. Leaving aside 5% schools that are private, the majority of the elementary school are state run.
Lower Secondary School/Junior High School
Lower secondary school covers three grades and is attended by students from 12-15 years of age. Academic studies are given great emphasis, as this stage of education prepares the students for upper secondary school. Lectures are the primary mode of imparting knowledge to the students, though other media, such as television and radio, and laboratory work are also included by some teachers. The curriculum largely comprises of Japanese language, social studies, mathematics, science, music, fine arts, health, and physical education.
Upper Secondary School/Senior High School
Upper secondary school is not compulsory for all students and requires them to sit in the entrance exam for admission. It lasts for three years and is attended by students from 15-18 years of age. Since the educational level and subjects taught have a major impact on the future career of Japanese students, competition is highly tough to procure admission in the right senior secondary school. Academic courses are offered to students to prepare and train them for higher education to find great jobs after graduation.
The Japanese educational system follows the 6-3-3-4 system (6 years of elementary school, 3 years of lower secondary school, 3 years of upper secondary school, and 4 years of university), similar to the American system. However, compulsory education lasts for just 9 years, 6 in the elementary school and 3 in the junior high school. Depending upon the type of the study program, students take admission in different higher educational institutions – universities, junior colleges, colleges of technology, graduate schools, and specialized training colleges.
The duration of a university is four years, comprising of undergraduate studies in various subjects. Students are required to achieve more than 124 credits within four years of study to be awarded with the bachelor’s degree and become a graduate. Some institutions offer six-year programs leading to a professional degree. Four-year colleges are segregated into national universities, local public universities, and private universities. The curriculum includes liberal arts, foreign language studies, physical education, basic studies of majoring subject, and majoring subject.