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04-12-2011, 03:37 AM

Originally Posted by tenmins View Post
So often I have heard negative things about the Japanese school system focused around this issue of all the children being in this nationwide battle to outperform each other and get into uni.
The top universities are hard to get into. They have some incredibly difficult entrance exams... But they`re not the only universities in the country. They tend to fly by reputation though, so just getting into one increases your future job opportunities... Along the same lines as someone who has graduated from Harvard or Princeton is going to have more opportunities than someone who has graduated from a small local university.
Getting into a university isn`t hard - getting into a prestigious university is.
Parents want their children to attend prestigious universities, so tend to push their children to get into better high schools so that they`ll have a better chance of passing the prestigious university exam... Which is really the root of the whole negative image.

I hadn't heard about high school being non-compulsory and that there is a wide range of different programs. It sounds like a great system that allows you to choose a path based on the individual strengths of the child, providing the parents are willing to follow those strengths.
On one hand it is, on the other, well, focusing on interests and individual strengths doesn`t necessarily mean that the child will be able to make a living off of it later. In Japan, the norm is still for the children to care for their parents - not to mention that a prestigious job means a LOT - so there is a lot of pressure to set yourself up for a solid career.

Another question. I have heard that the whole bullying thing in schools is often a result of parents actions. Two or more sets of parents will gossip about another child who may be overweight or have a disability etc, and their children will hear this and repeat it to their friends at school and as the snowball builds it results in some students bullying the child directly.
This is true anywhere when it comes to small children. It is most definitely not a "Japan thing".
More subtle differences aren`t usually picked up by children, or if they are they do not connect anything negative to the differences... Unless, of course, someone they respect is pointing it out as something negative.

Have you experienced this?
Not so far.

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