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Elementary education in Japan – Shogakko and Chugakko

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Early childhood and elementary education (shogakko and chugakko) has been compulsory in Japan since 1947 and lasts for nine years, from 6 to 15 years old.

Foreign children, like Japanese children, are admitted to schools free of charge.

Elementary School

In Japan, in April, registration in Shogakko takes place. This month, children who are already 6 years old can apply. Once this period is completed, children can be enrolled in Chugakko and study for another 3 consecutive years.

There are no fees to pay for classes or purchase of textbooks. The books are distributed free of charge. But payment of school lunches (kyushoku) is mandatory, as are some fees related to activities promoted by the school for students.

Parents or guardians must go to the city hall to make a new registration of entry into the city and at the same time they must apply to the Municipal Department of Education and the registration of their children in Shogakko or Chugakko.

Shogakko ages 6 to 12 – Japanese language content, general Japanese history, mathematics, science, geography, everyday life, music, drawing, crafts, housework, physical education and health, moral education and extracurricular activities are taught.

Chuugakko from 12 to 15 years old – Japanese language content, social studies, mathematics, science, music, arts education, physical education and health, woodworking, domestic tasks and foreign language (English), moral education and extracurricular activities are taught.

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