Schools are meaningless for advanced students in Japan.


In Japan, the Cram school industry has developed since 1990s. Numerous students go to these outside school almost every day. Their aim is to get better scores in exams and enter highly selective universities. Some tutoring schools prepare very difficult tests for children per month. In addition, the teachers’ quality is also great than in normal schools. Parents rely on them because they have special well-known skills for teaching.

Therefore, a big problem has happened in schools. Some advanced-level students who go to a cram school are bored during classes. They want to study for their outside classes because normal learning is too easy for them. So they tend to learn using cram school textbooks. Teachers are aware of these situations, however, they don’t scold students strictly. Japanse call these situations “NAISYOKU”. NAI means inside, SYOKU means working.

One of my English students desires to enter a high-level national university. Although she is in first grade in high school, she goes to a clum school every after school and weekends. There is little time to relax. Her family supports her strongly because for her future.

She talked to me about her struggle last lesson. Usually, her English speaking wasn’t powerful. Surprisingly, she talked so fluently at that moment. I thought that anger was the origin of energy.

She was complaining about school discipline. Firstly, the spring holiday is only eight days. Normally, almost all Japanese schools take two weeks for that vacation. Students love this term because teachers don’t provide a lot of homework. School teachers are so busy preparing for new students and the entrance ceremony. Secondly, school teachers didn’t manage teaching schedules. They couldn’t finish the textbook until the end of the term. As a result, they force to come to school for students. She said, “This situation is unfair! I want to enjoy two weeks’ holiday!”

Thirdly, there is a problematical issue in their examination and daily classes. Every subject’s examinations are so difficult. But on the other hand, daily classes are so easy.