Early Year School System in Japan
Japanese school system is somehow mixture of American and European system. The mandatory schooling starts at age of six. Parents are obligated by law to send their children to school. Home schooling is not supported by government like other countries. In this article, you can read about belief information about pre-school and elementary/primary school system in Japan.
日本の 学校制度は アメリカと ヨーロッパの 制度の 混合です。
父と 母は 子供を 学校に 通わせることが 法律で 決められています。（義務教育）
家での 学習 は ほかの 国のように 政府によって サポートされていません。
この 記事では、 幼稚園・保育園 と 小学校 について 説明します。
Non-mandatory schooling 義務教育 の 前
There are many different types of pre-schools in Japan. It is not obligatory education. Some families would keep their children at home until three to four years old and send them to pre schools. But due to current economy, lots of mothers would have to work to support their family. Thus they would need to use full time nurseries.
日本には いろいろな タイプの 幼稚園・保育園 が あります。
As people hear on the news regularly, currently there is a severe shortage of full time nursery places in Japan. (Japanese people are not used to nanny & baby sitter culture) It may be difficult to find full time nursery places at government registered nurseries. However, there are many non-registered nurseries operating in Japan. Some of them would even take children over night as young as three months old. Inner city areas, often there are no parking spaces to drop children, thus it is common in Japan to cycle to drop off children even in the rain!
Kindergarten/preschool school 幼稚園
Some of primary schools would have a section of pre-school inside their schools. There are private/independent and public/state sector schools are available to choose as well as international government run schools in central Tokyo. Some religious preschools would be ran by Buddhist temples and Christian churches but they are not so strict about their teachings and they accept children without religious background. Some prestigious preschools are very hard to get into; some parents would send them to special cram schools as early as one and half years old to prep for the entry assessments.
Mandatory schooling 義務教育
A school year would start in April and end in March the following year. At age of six, children are required to be in a primary/elementary school. There are mainly four different types of schools: public, private, national and international.
子供は 6歳 になると、 小学校 に 入学 しなければなりません。
公立、私立、国立 と インターナショナルスクール と4つの タイプの 小学校が あります。
学年は4月に 始まり、次の 年の3月に おわります。
public schools 公立の 学校
There are school districts in Japan, children normally can not choose public school. Obviously, rich neighborhood achievement would be better than some other areas but some suburban prefectures often have higher average test scores comparing to bigger cities like Tokyo and Osaka.
private/independent schools 私立の 学校
They are some very famous fee-paying schools in Japan. Children need to pass very competitive entrance process. Parents occupations and family background are also important factors of the selection process.
national schools 国立の 学校
National schools are selective schools but there is no fee. The first stage of entrance process is a lottery; then children are selected by academic potential and ability. Often those schools are connected with universities and children would be in highly academic atmosphere.
International schools インターナショナルスクール
There are increasing in numbers of international schools in Japan. Most of them would follow IB programs and their main language would be English. There are many different types of international schools; some would be run by foreign governments and some would be run by corporations.
If a child is not fluent in Japanese; it might be the best to send the child to best suited language based school; normal Japanese elementary schools are not ready for international students; but there are some exceptions in central Tokyo.
日本の 小学校は ことばの 問題など、外国人の 子供 の うけいれ 体制・サポートが 整っていないこともあります。（ 東京の 中心部は 、整っている 学校 もあります。）
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