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Japanese Education: Outside of Class

By Shotaro Kumano

Japan has some unique educational customs in the school. Of course, in the class there are some strategical methods to education, but I’m going to focus on education at outside of class. Outside of the class is very significant for building a responsibility, bond, and roll in the group.

1. School Lunch Time

Every elementary and middle school has lunch food which is provided by the school or a local food organization. We call this kyushoku (給食). The kyushoku menu is very organized and tastes very good. The balance is carefully considered by staff who work at school to make kyushoku. It’s contains protein, vitamins and other good stuff. However, the main point is not the menu – the point is the preparation of lunch time.  The students pick up the food cart from certain places and bring to class. Disinfectant and the kyushoku is provided by students. Every week the server will change, but it’s the student’s job to prepare their great lunchtime moment.

2. School Clean-Up

Every day, the elementary, middle, and high school has clean-up time for about 1 hour. We clean up everywhere such as the classrooms, hallways, gym, bathroom, and outside the school. Every week we rotate the places where we clean up. We cooperate each other by using equipment which is owned by the school. Sometimes we use our own equipment such as towels.

3. Club Activity

90% of high school students are involved into club activities. Right after school, we go to club activities which will usually be done at around 8pm. They have various type of club activity, including sport clubs (baseball, tennis, volleyball, basketball, soccer, badminton, table tennis, jyudo, kyudo, kendo, track and field, etc.) and non-sport clubs (igo (game of go), syogi (Japanese chess), art, etc.) Most of the clubs have practice every weekday and have some competition on the weekend.

As you can see, high school in Japan is very serious about club activity because we believe that to work hard as a group is very important for life. All of the education outside of the class focuses on the group to improve their skills with respect to manners, responsibilities, and how you behave in the group as an adult in the future.

Click here to watch an interview with Shotaro Kumano!

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