School system in Anpachi

The school system in Anpachi allows for students to meet the nine years of compulsory education (grade one to grade nine) set by the Japanese Ministry of Education.There are five schools in Anpachi, two junior high schools and three elementary schools

Toryu Junior High School

toryu junior high school

Toryu is located in central Anpachi beside the town recreation center. Around 300 students from grade seven to nine attend Toryu, with each grade having three classes. Students from Maki and Namori elementary schools enter Toryu after graduating from grade six.

Toan Junior high School

toan junior high schoolToan is located in the northeast corner of Anpachi. 300 students in grades seven, eight, and nine (each grade also has three classes) are enrolled at Toan. Students from Musubu elementary along with students from the neigbouring town (which is too small to have its own junior high school) enter and progress through Toan.

Namori Elementary Scool

namori elementary schoolNamori is the largest school in Anpachi. Namori is in central Anpachi and is fairly close to Toryu. 500 students from grades one to six attend Namori with each grade having three classes each. Students go to Toryu after completing their studies at Namori

Maki Elentary School

maki elementary school

Located in southern Anpachi, Maki is the smallest school in town. Only 120 students are enrolled in Maki from grades one to six. With small number of students, Maki only has one class per grade. After graduating from Maki, students will move on to Toryu.

Musubu Elementary School

Musubu is in the northeast corner of Anpachi, very close to the Ibi River. Musubu has a student population of 300 in grades one to six.ツ黴€ There are two classes per grade here at Musubu. After completing grade six, students move to Toan.

School life in Anpachi

The school year in Anpachi begins in April (along with the rest of Japan). Students attend class from eight in the morning to four in the afternoon, Monday to Friday. The lower grades in Elementary return home earlier than 4pm, but as students progress to higher grades, they remain at school longer.

After school junior high school students participate in club activities, which are mandatory. Students must belong to one of the following clubs: baseball, basketball, volleyball, tennis, ping pong (table tennis), soccer, brass band, or kendo.In winter these clubs run until it gets dark, which is 4:30 or 5:00. Summer has these clubs going until 6pm. Saturday is also club day where students come to school to participate in their respective clubs.

Once or twice a week most students (both elementary and junior high) will attend private cram school, or juku, in the evening to catch up on schoolwork. All subjects in the public school system are taught at these juku schools.

Students can be seen making their way to school early in the morning. Elementary school students walk to school, usually in groups, all wearing yellow hats so busy morning rush hour traffic can see them. Junior high school students ride bicycles, and can be identified by their white bicycle helmets.

There are a few differences between school life in Japan and other countries. One major difference is in Japan students are responsible for cleaning the school themselves. Everyday the students at cleaning time work together to clean the entire school in fifteen minutes. At the beginning of summer, students even clean the school pool themselves. Another difference is that all students are required to wear school uniforms. Boys and girls both wear different uniforms. Also there are summer and winter uniforms to adjust for the change in temperature (there is no heating or air conditioning in the classrooms).

In September every school holds an annual sports festival. The whole student body is divided into three teams. Junior high for example has a blue, a red, and a white team, with each team comprised of one class from each grade. Various track and field events, games, and a team cheer (which has been practiced everyday after school for a few months) have all the teams competing for first place.

As soon as the sports festival is over the students begin preparations for the cultural festival in November. The students along with the PTA sing many songs in front of family and town members, finally finishing with a long and difficult chorus piece. For example Toryu sings various songs with a professional orchestra.

Throughout their school life in Anpachi every student will be part of the many class or grade trips.ツ黴€ Though these trips, like school exchanges to other prefectures or trips to Tokyo (grade nine) and Kyoto / Nara (grade six), students will learn about Japan’s government, infrastructure, history, and culture.

The school year in Anpachi has three major holiday periods for students. The first is the winter break, which is roughly two weeks long starting in late December and returning to school in early January. During this holiday students usually join their families on New Years in visiting temples and shrines in the area. The next holiday period is the summer break in August. Students get the entire month off, mainly because it is too hot in the schools for effective learning. Even though August is a holiday, many students still study daily for the many tests they will write on their return to school in September. The final school break is at the end of the school year in late March. For just under two weeks students will have a holiday soon after graduation ceremonies (for grade six and nine) are completed. Students prepare to move up grades or change schools during this time. All of the (former) grade nine students are very stressed during this break because they are busy studying for entrance exams for high school.