10 distinctive features of Japanese education system that made this nation so great


Every country has its own uniqueness. Irrespective of their size and geography, some countries appear distinctive in certain areas. This makes us wonder what differentiates one country from the other. Japan is one such country which suffered a major catastrophe few decades back. Today, it stands as an example in many areas even to developing countries. There are many reasons attributed to why Japan is what it is today. One main reason however is its education system that has made this nation the envy of the world. Let us look at the 10 distinctive features of the Japanese education system that has made the other countries look up to Japan.

  1. Discipline and manner get the priority

Japanese schools focus in teaching the children good manners and groom their character during the first three years. During these budding years children are never evaluated on their learning efficiency and knowledge levels. Children are made to take easy tests every now and then. They never get loaded with exams and related pressures till they are 10 years old. They are taught to love animals. They are guided in a practical manner to nurture nature. They are taught virtues like compassion, generosity and empathy. Kids also get trained to be highly self confident, courageous, honest and law abiding.

  1. Kids are given enough holidays

Japanese schools motivate children every possible way. They re-open schools on the 1st of April every year during when cherry blossoms are seems to be adorning the environment of the complete area. The enthusiasm this creates in a colorful manner makes children willingly go to school. The fun element created does not stop just with this. Japanese education system strongly believes in providing the children enough holidays so their mental stature is ready to take appropriate load when they bounce back after holidays. These holidays are spread across various seasons like summer, winter and spring. The complete academic year is split into three trimesters between April 1 — July 20, September 1 — December 26, and January 7 — March 25. Children enjoy 6 weeks holidays during summer seasons and two weeks during the winter and spring seasons.

  1. Cleaning is everyone’s responsibility

Japanese education system does not only teach moral values and discipline theoretically but also teach them to follow the same in a realistic manner. Japanese schools do not appoint cleaners or janitors to keep the environment clean and hygienic. Every student is expected to clean their own class rooms, corridors, library and sports ground including toilets. In order to give a rounded experience to all the students in a complete manner, schools ensure that areas and cleaning tasks get rotated between students constantly. Students sweep, mop and wipe every area around them. The main purpose of involving students in such cleaning activities is to make them understand the difficulties involved in various kinds of activities. It also teaches the students that no work is inferior and so every workman must be treated with due respect.

  1. Lunch time is relationship building time

Japanese Education System practices well thought about processes that have long lasting impact on students. Lunch time, which is usually cut short in most schools around the world, is made as a high utility value time in Japanese schools. The junior high schools and public elementary systems provide free lunch to children. Free lunch may sound ‘compromised quality’ if it were other parts of the globe, but not in Japan. The food offered to the students and the teachers during the lunch time in Japan schools are standardized menu which is absolutely healthy for the growing children. Cooked by top class chefs who are mostly qualified health care professionals these lunch periods does not just physically fill the children but fosters the relationship between the students and teachers.

  1. Value adding after-school workshops

Education is being made the favourite aspect of studying children through the various efforts taken by Japanese schools. This makes Japanese children study happily for more hours than children in schools in other parts of the world. Getting admission in a decent junior high school is not an easy task in Japan. Attending preparatory schools or after school workshops is a common phenomenon in Japan. Such classes are conducted during the after school hours by schools. Generally, Japan students study 8 hours a day in school. Owing to the friendly method through which teaching is carried out in Japan schools, Japan children never fail primary, lower or secondary level school grades.

  1. Complementary learning

Japanese education system does not insist in the main subjects alone that are being taught for years traditionally. It fosters the artistic fervor in children by teaching them calligraphy which is also referred to as Shodo. Children are provided practice to write Japanese calligraphy letters called hieroglyphs on rice paper. Children are also taught to write short forms of poetry known as Haiku that express deep emotions. A typical Haiku poetry has not more than 3 to 4 lines but conveys the best of emotions in an in depth manner possible. Haiku and Shodo are taught to children to carry the rich legacy through generations and keep alive the age old traditions of Japan

  1. School uniforms emphasize uniformity

Almost every junior high school insists in their students wearing uniform that is common to all schools. While boys wear a dark blue military style uniform, girls wear dark blue sailor outfit uniforms. Some schools do have their own attire too. Japanese schools insist in the uniform culture to foster equality among the various sects of children and create a sense of identity among the students as a whole 

  1. Astonishing attendance percentage in Japan schools

Japan schools boast of very high levels of attendance and success statistics that no school in any other part of the globe can really boast of. They record 99.99% attendance year over year. While this gets us off the hook and we are still wondering if this is a true reality, there is another astonishing fact about Japanese schools. Approximately 91% of the students say that they never ever have ignored what is said by the teachers in the class room pertaining to work and studies. Is there any other country which can confidently challenge this statistics?

  1. Examination Hell

While school days offer a pleasant experience of ‘dancing with angels’ in Japan, the completion of High School is usually termed as Examination Hell. As soon as students complete their high school, they are given the option to choose their favorite course and college they want to stud the same in. A single common examination is conducted for all the students who belong to the different schools in Japan. All those students who scores above 76% in this test continue their higher education after high school. Those students who score less than 76% get on with other avocations in their life. The time period during which students prepare for this single common exam is generally termed as ‘examination hell’

  1. Best Holidays are college days in Japan

College days that follow the ‘examination hell’ are considered as the golden days in every student’s life in Japan. Students eagerly wait to experience these days filled with fun and frolic. College days are considered more as a vacation break before joining the regular work stream in Japan. The years spent in college acts more as a grooming place than an area of studies. Colleges in Japan make the students job ready even before they complete their education. This eases out their life helping them to kick start their career in a value added manner.