Random thoughts, comments, observations and general fluff from a random bint who left London at the end of September 2004 to embark on a new life and new adventures in Tokyo, land of the cute.... and is leaving mid-June 2010 - and counting!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Education in Japan, in a nutshell

At schools in Japan, they have four exam periods every year but the schools are so shite most kids go to cram schools to get a good enough eduction to pass their exams and get into uni. Some kids go to cram school (juku) from five years old.

Plus school clubs, English lessons, ballet lessons, flute lessons, piano lessons, etc.

To get into uni you have to pass a massive and tough exam that includes English (regardless of what you want to study)

but still most people can't speak English here. (Of course, for Eikaiwa (language school) teachers, like me, this is good. It means money for us!

Once in uni they spend all their time doing clubs etc and very little studying.

One student told me her son is doing a year of his law degree in the UK and was shocked that in the UK students have to actually work at uni. GASP!

Anyway, in their penultimate year, all uni students dress, in their identical suits, and go, with their identical answers(they have books giving them the answers they should give in interviews), one whole year before graduating, to heaps of interviews for jobs.

They have no idea before going if they will be given tests and, if they are to be given tests, whether it'll be a language test, maths test, personality test, etc.


the answers they give in their interviews are TIMED!

(not 'the interview is timed' but every answer is timed)

Is Japan trying to produce a nation of clones?

(All information above has been supplied by a variety of my students so, if it's inaccurate, stuff it. I mean, DO tell me!)


Anonymous rebecca said...

Unfortunately, take a look at the US. I was really fortunate to be in a school district, and really a high school, that was a good area in our state. Arizona's education standards are pretty low on the scale (I think only Mississippi and a few other states rank below us). Unfortunately, Arizona enacted the AIMS test, which is a statewide test that basically forces students to pass it to graduate. This is probably common elsewhere, but it's not like the SATs. You actually cannot graduate high school if you do not pass the AIMS test. This has steered education to teach students to pass the test, not to educate them. On top of that, we have uber-fabuolous "No Child Left Behind" act that basically destroyed all English as a second language education, and it has forced all students who do not primarily speak english to learn by immersion and be expected to still learn at the same pace as the native english speakers.

Maybe the world is doomed, and yes, perhaps I do have a thing for uniforms (heehee).

3:11 am


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