Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Secondary education in Japan
In education in Japan, most lower secondary schools (中学校 chūgakkō, literally, middle school) cover the seventh through ninth years, and most upper secondary schools (高等学校 kōtōgakkō, literally, high school) cover years ten through twelve. Attendance in upper secondary school is not compulsory, but most students do attend.
Most Japanese upper secondary schools have complicated admissions procedures, similar to university admissions in other countries. Some of the top upper secondary schools, however, graduate their students directly into the top universities, such as Tokyo University. Students who do not plan to attend university are generally tracked into vocational departments in upper secondary schools: very few lower secondary school graduates forgo upper secondary school entirely, although they are free to do so if they wish.
In Japan, the School Education Law was revised in 1998, and secondary schools (中等教育学校, chūtōkyōikugakkō, literally, secondary education school) was newly recognized. Education in these school combines that of lower and upper secondary schools, without a clear break.
In the the pre-Meiji educational system, the equivalent to upper secondary school (高等学校, high school) was chūgakkō (中学校, middle school) or kōtōjogakkō (高等女学校, literally, high girls' school). Chūgakkō of pre-Meiji educational system is now called kyūsei chūgakkō (旧制中学校, literally, old system's middle school).
Although secondary is the officially recognized term, lower and upper secondary schools are very much more commonly referred to in English-language newspapers, conversation and so forth within Japan as junior high schools and high schools respectively.
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