The Values and Standards of the Japanese Education System

The Japanese education system differs greatly from some other countries – especially the United States. There are different values and standards that are noteworthy and lead to different forms of education. There are major differences in the structure of the school, the responsibilities of the students, curriculum, and outside activities.


Structure of Japanese Schools

In Japanese schools, students usually go to elementary school for six years, followed by three years of middle school, and three years of high school. Each level is taught to respect the students on levels higher than them as well adults. The term “senpai” is used to refer to someone older than you that you may look up to. Japanese school years usually begin in April and end in March.

Responsibilities of Japanese Students

Japanese students are assigned lunch duties where they help make and serve their fellow classmates. The lunches in Japanese schools are made of a variety of healthy foods, and unlike in the United States they tend to be pretty tasty! Students are also expected to also help with the cleaning and tidying up of the school! Additionally, most Japanese schools have uniform policies for their students.


Curriculum in Japanese schools are held to national standards made by the government. Every ten years this curriculum is reviewed and edited as needed in order to stay up-to-date. The MInistry of Education, Sports, Culture, Science and Technology (MEXT) is responsible for publishing this curriculum. This ensures that the curriculum is well rounded and has set expectations for students of each grade level.

Outside Activities

Outside of the set curriculum, students have other activities available for them to enjoy life as a child. Elementary school children tend to have excursions to fun, educational places in order to advance their learning. There are also club activities such as sports, musical groups, and academic clubs so students can further their interests. Baseball in particular is a popular outside activity for Japanese students, as well as martial arts.


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