High schools in Japan are referred to as koutou gakkou in Japanese or, more commonly, as simply koukou. More than 90% of Japanese citizens go on to attend high school. Like elementary and middle school, there are national, public (for example, prefectural and municipal) and private schools. There is a limit to the number of schools you can apply for depending on the region where you live. High school education is not compulsory, and as such you will be responsible for paying school registration fees, class fees and any fees for textbooks.
1. To apply to a high school
In order to go to a high school you must pass the school’s entrance exam. For prefectural high schools in Mie Prefecture, there are several recruitment periods where prospective students must take exams or attend interviews: zenki senbatsu (around February) and kouki senbatsu (around March). There are also schools which have recruitment periods and exams for specific groups of students, such as non-Japanese students. For more information, please ask your child’s middle school teacher or access the Mie Prefectural Board of Education homepage.
If you are predicted to graduate middle school in Japan, or you have an educational background which is the equivalent of or higher than a Japanese middle school graduate, then you are qualified to take the high school examinations. If you have graduated from a middle school outside of Japan you must have proof of graduation. If you are applying to a full-time prefectural high school then you and your parent or guardian must be residents of the prefecture. If you are applying to a part-time prefectural high school then you must be either working or living within the prefecture.
3. Types of High School
You should discuss what kind of high school you want to go to and what you want to study with you parents and middle school teacher.
School courses are divided into regular courses, technical courses （such as manufacture, commerce and agriculture） and comprehensive courses.
Schools are divided into full-time, part-time and correspondence based on the number of class hours they have.
|Full-time||Go to school during the day. Study for three years.|
|Part-time||Go to school at night (or during the day). Study for more than 3 years.|
|Correspondence||Study at home (with schooling twice a month)|
4. Life at High School
During the school year there are various school events, and many schools are passionate about their extracurricular activities which take place after school and at the weekend. As the content of lessons is harder at high school level, you must be dedicated to your studies. High school isn’t part of the compulsory education system, so if you get poor grades then you may not be able to advance to the next grade or even graduate.
By positively facing each challenge as it comes together with your friends, you can spend a fulfilling three years at high school. Have a clear goal for your future and help make it happen at high school!
For information on the high school entrance exams for 2014 see the below:
◇ (Japanese language) 2014 Mie Prefectural High School Entrance Exam Implementation Outlines and Outlines for the Recruitment of Students for Mie Prefectural Special Support Schools (Mie Prefectural Board of Education)
◇〈Japanese language〉Letter to middle school students and their parents or guardians: Aiming for Prefectural High School (Mie Prefectural Board of Education)
◇〈Japanese language〉Mie Prefectural High School Guide (Mie Prefectural Board of Education)
◇〈9 languages available〉 Guidance for Entering High School Guidebook（Mie International Exchange Foundation MIEF）
This video is based on material from CLAIR’s “Multilingual Living Information (http://www.clair.or.jp/tagengo/)”.