Posted by: juhhazevedo | 11/04/2011

Is the japanese educational system really good or not?

While reading this article about the Education in Japan I found out some curitosities I didn’t know about their educational system.

During the Edo Period the great majority of people had already been given access to quality education, learning how to read, write and count. But the aristocracy (understand by that Samurais) were the only ones that could possibly have higher formation by taking special courses directed specially to them.

By means of this system, 40% of the population were already literate when in 1868 the Meiji Restoration was set. In this time they would establish the 6-3-3-4 system and the first universities were about to be founded.

How does the 6-3-3-4 system works?

Well, it’s very similiar to what happens here in Brazil nowadays.

We have:

  1. Kindergarten, with 1-3 years duration (that’s optional);
  2. Elementary School, with 6 years duration;
  3. Junior High School, with 3 years duration;
  4. Senior High School, also with 3 years duration;
  5. University, usually with 4 years duration.

Japanese High School Students

To see how education has improved even more, nowadays the iliteracy rate is 0% and approximatedly 76% of High School graduated students enroll to an University or other courses to keep on studying. In Brazil, only 10% have an University degree.

But if it works so well, why the name of the post?

Besides having the best educational results in the world, Japan has also strict conducts that are responsible for one of the highest suicide numbers of teenagers due to familiar and social pressure.

What do you think about it? Leave a comment!



  1. Even tought the japanese educacional system is very similiar to Brazil we can see huge differences. This is interesting and kind of obvious. There’s a huge gap in our system, and in Japan things are much more ‘correct’. Unfortunately this comes with consequences. This is inevitable. In Japan and also here in Brazil.

  2. I think we could learn a lot from the Japanese, but instead of being ultra-strict like them, we could implement our own set of rules that will work just fine for us and our students. I believe the learning process should be fun and should instigate students into learning more, not make them loath going to school. In my opinion the high suicide rates have to do with cultural Japanese aspects: they are naturally strict with themselves, their family requires a lot from them, society requires a lot from them. Maybe it has nothing to do with simply the strict educational system, but with the entire strict and demanding society.

  3. Although the suicide rate is very high due to the strict education, you can see the system really works there. Children in Japan usually grow up in that world where the main objective is to go to University and they feel a lot of pressure.
    You can’t generalise, though. Like all the other countries, Japan is changing with the globalisation and children are more free to express their thoughts and ideas nowadays.
    Another thing, their educational system is almost nothing like ours. In Japan, they also have afternoon classes, where they learn to sing, cook, they have book clubs and music clubs as well. That helps a lot. In the afternoons here in Brazil, children usually play videogames and do shit.
    This is my opinion, feel free to disagree 🙂

    • No, I totally agree with you. Especially about the complementary classes. I’ve just forgot to comment it on the post, thank you.

  4. I’m not totally agree. I’m not sure, but I don’t think that the end justifies the mean.
    The Japanese system is excelent, but firstly, if works with them, does it mean that will work with us? What is good for a culture, can’t be good to another. I think we have to consider it.
    Whatever, I’m not suggesting that you want strict education… I mean, if for them the world must be organized with these characteristics, it’s ok… (but the suicide rate is worrying).
    That’s my opinion… xoxo

  5. Educational System in Japan is nothing like ours. They have like a billion classes and lots of different activities, and because they are so strict the suicide rates are so high. But you can’t generalize, this system works for them besides the suicide rates. I’m glad that Brazil is not strict like that. Its true that we could use some extra activities like cooking and singing and book club, but is something really hard to implement in Brazil, it probably wouldn’t work as good as in Japan.

    • Why is it really hard to be introduced in Brazil?Is that because of the schools or the students?

      • I think it’s because of the goverment (we can blame them for everything lol).
        No, really, I believe that the maladministration of public money is the main issue… our public schools are lame. (Sorry about the term).

  6. The rate of suicide in japan isn’t as big as the crime in brazil.
    Their system works there because the goverment really invest in education much more than here.
    I think that their system don’t work here, or maybe it can take years to work .Brazil is too big, and the government has to invest lots of money, we all know how thing work here when we talk about investment in education.

  7. In my opinion, I think that one of the reason for good quality of education in Japan is that they really believe that GOOD education is important, and not just teachers, professional education and politicians are responsible for a good education, but the students and their families are also important in this process. And another point is that ( something that I really saw when I was living there) the teacher have good salary and receive RESPECT from society. Respect that teachers in Japan have the PRIDE to say that they are teacher.
    Of course that education system in Japan is not perfect, but comparing from Brazil, we are really lacking, especially with teachers.

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