Elementary school and junior high school
Six years of elementary school education and three years of junior high school education are compulsory in Japan. School life will involve Japanese customs, events and rules. Please respect them and encourage your child to enjoy his or her school life without stress.
School age means the age at which a child can enter a school: age six to enter an elementary school and age twelve to enter a junior high school.
In Japan, students belong to each grade according to their age. Those of foreign nationality are likely to be transferred into a grade according to their age.
|National/public schools||Entrance fees, tuition fees and textbooks are provided at no cost for elementary and junior high students. However, teaching materials other than textbooks, school supplies, lunch, excursions and uniforms must be paid at your own expense.|
|Private schools||Entrance fees and tuition fees must also be paid at your own expense.|
If you wish to enter your child into a public elementary school/junior high school, you are advised to visit your municipal administrative office or the Board of education and convey your intention to enter the child into a school in Japan.
There you will be given an application form “Nyugaku Shinsei Sho”. Fill out the application with the required data and deliver it in the same service desk.
If you wish to enter your child into a national or private elementary school or junior high school, please apply directly to each school.
To those who are registered in Jyuminhyou (Basic Registration of Residents), a school entrance guide will be sent to parents/guardians of children expected to enter school in the coming school year. If you do not receive the entrance guide between the beginning of the year until February, please, consult your municipal administrative office or the Board of Education.
Procedures for transfer (after entrance)
If you wish to transfer your child to a public elementary school or junior high school, visit your municipal administrative office and carry out the procedures for transfer. The child will then transfer to the designated school on the designated day.
As a general principle, the child will transfer to a grade according to his or her age. However, it is also possible for the child to temporarily study in a lower grade due to circumstances such as lack of Japanese ability. If you are concerned about this, please consult the Board of Education in your municipal administrative office or the teachers in the respective school.
If you wish your child to enter a national or private school, please enquire directly at the respective school.
School life (if your child does not yet speak fluent Japanese)
Classes will be taught in Japanese. Thus, many elementary schools and junior high schools will have a Japanese education program for Japanese learners.
School life (school activities)
There are activities in schools such as gymkhana, school excursions, study trip, amongother various activities. Through the students, the school will send the information material regarding each school activity. You need to read the information and check the content so that your child can participate in the activities.
Each school will have an educational board by the parents and teachers known as the PTAs (Parent-Teacher Associations). This is an organization which carries out activities where parents and teachers work together for the benefit of their children.
Children’s Club (Gakudo Clubs)
Children’s clubs are for children in the lower grades of elementary school without parents to look after them during the daytime. They provide a place for children to be after school hours and aim to foster physically and mentally healthy children through suitable play. For more information, enquire at the municipal office in your city.
After graduation from junior high school
There are several options for junior high school graduates to go on their studies. They may go on their studies at high schools or specialized high schools, or go onto at specialized training schools, miscellaneous schools, or vocational training schools. They may also choose to work as they study under a part-time system or on a correspondence course.
This video is based on material from CLAIR’s “Multilingual Living Information (http://www.clair.or.jp/tagengo/)”.