Junior High

Public versus Private. In Japan, many children from the age of 10 or 11 will start to attend preparatory school at least once a week until their entrance exams for a private junior high school. This is to ensure their acceptance into high level middle schools. Its a big deal here. Not many parents or children choose to attend public junior high in japan anymore because private schools are better.

I don’t personally think there is anything negative about attending a public junior high, even though I didn’t. I did take an entrance exam into a private junior high and I did pass somehow. But I was lucky because the requirements for my exam were different from other schools. Everybody else who were at the Elementary school I went to had to study a lot harder than I ever have ever in my life. Most of them spent at least 5 hours after school to study at a self study room at their preparatory school, in public libraries or at home. Their parents would make sure they were studying as hard as they can. They would monitor their child’s schedule, mark their work and support them as best they can.

The number of children who weren’t taking entrance exams that year were 10 out of 32. They either said they couldn’t afford it or that they just didn’t see the point. In the end it is all up to the child. If they don’t agree with attending a posh junior high school with snobby teenagers that is their choice. If they prefer having their friends live nearby and prefer the pace of public education better that is their choice.

In Japan, at the age of 15, when you graduate junior high, you are no longer legally required to attend school therefore there are no public high schools where you can attend without taking an entrance exam and paying tuition. This is mainly why many parents, and children, take entrance exams into junior high schools that have high schools attached (sometimes even universities). It is a safer decision for their future.

Public or Private, what do you think?



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