Juku: The Japanese Cram School

27 Oct 2010 1:03 PM | Anonymous member

Juku is a very popular after school program in Japan. There are several stylesundefinedone in particular is for advanced students. Public schools have a lot of students in one classroom, and teachers normally teach average level material, based on the government curriculum. However, some advanced students want to learn more, making Shingaku (Advanced) Juku the place to go. Hoshu (Complement/Support) Juku is for the students who need support with their regular curriculum in public school. There are classroom type settings or personal (one teacher per few students) ones, allowing different set ups for all students’ needs. Almost everyone in Japan knows what Juku are.  According to one study, 60% of a student age group goes to one of the several kind of Juku nowadays.

As you know, Japan does not have many natural resources in its own land. Even so, it became a well-known country in the world for its progressive technology and its diligent population.  I believe that is one of the reasons that this style of school has become popular. It is natural to have this kind of school in addition to public school, because studying harder always gives more opportunity to have a successful life. Originally, the parents sent their children without their opinions because, of course all adults know higher education would promise a safer future.  Now Juku are trying to attract customers, which are students 5 to 18 years old, with the quality of classes and services.   I know (as one Juku owner) that we can make studying interesting; and students know that, “learning new things is addictive.”

The Juku’s history dates back to before the 10th century.  At that time Juku were only open for a few of high society. After the 1600’s, the middle term of the Edo period, this became very popular to the public as Terakoya (Temple School). It was a private elementary school, teaching basic reading, writing and mathematics. This school was open to anyone who desired to study.  Later on, this style became a kind of higher education school (private school at their home) taught by famous professors studying overseas or a person who had a professional skill. You may have also heard the names of Fukuzawa Yukichi (you can see him on a Japanese bill) or Ito Hirofumi (you can see him on the former 1000 yen bill); they are important people for Japanese history.

I am proud of being a part of the Juku business industry, selected by students and their parents, providing educational support, based on their needs. Especially here in US, Juku is not known to the public. Still, we are a small group of motivators, giving personal support to all ages. I hope that some of my students will become leaders of Japan in the future, like many of the famous people from our history who studied in Juku.

Mamiko Riesbeck

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