Life in a Japanese School
By Maiko Covington

Date: Sat, 9 Mar 1991 23:02:00 GMT

I know all about juku - I went to juku for 6 years straight. But in my article, I just meant that in the actual school itself the time spent on any one subject is probably not much different that in the American schools. So, maybe instead of trying to lengthen the American school year and all of that, they should introduce the juku system.. Nah, maybe not (there are several juku in San Diego though, but they're all taught in Japanese). I also know about the university entrance exam - I have to take it this year. Wish me luck, all! Note: the government was supposed to make the process easier by doing away with the 'kyotuu itizi' (the exam everyone going to public college has to take), but when they did that, they also set up a new exam called 'center siken' which is basically the same thing. So, namae dake kawatta to iu koto ni naruga... I was disappointed.

Maiko Covington

Juku School
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 1991 04:56:03 GMT
(NOTE: Comment by on Maiko's article/post)

About juku and school and everything like that, not all the Japanese students attend, but that does not mean they are slack or anything. I know of a few friends who have had a tutor to provide much the same thing too. I guess then the general goal is achieved with this as well.I like the idea of juku in America myself, where it will really be viewed as an option, and not a requirement for college, like in Japan. As a child, I see a place for the teacher having problems with regular school to have option of going to teach at not quite a private school, but better than regular school. The students who are going to this American juku would be doing so because they want to (or their parents want them too, but that always happens, doesn't it?) and would not really compete with regular school, but show general public what a good extra instruction this is.

Many of my friends who do attend juku actually prefer it to regular school. They get to wear what they like, and the way the teacher teaches is generally more favorable. It's intense, yes, but I think it is sort of neat.

The only American juku I can really think of and remember of being really striking in the U.S.A. is the Princeton Review exam preparation classes. Some of my friends (I moved around a lot, okay? I was an Army Brat, because my father could not practice medicine in this country with a foreign degree, so that's that, okay ^_^) really liked those classes because they were fun, showed the way to do the exam, and the teachers were really fun and provided the correct information well.

There are of course regular juku in America as Maiko stated, but a little bit too juku for most Americans.

Well, my thoughts about this whole education business though, is to send my kids (I just learned to drive now too, so I know what I am talking about ^_^) overseas to attend school, then for college, send them to American one. The American colleges are more numerous, and quite a lot of them are extremely good, better in most cases, than the foreign ones.

Remember, these thoughts are just from a student, so if you think there should be a change, please let me know, because that is what I am, a student!

Maiko Covington

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Additional Info:
Life in A Japanese School By Maiko Covington.
Her text has remained true to her original posting. The overall title of this section was chosen to best represent her articles rather than "My High School Days" as originally titled by Maiko-san. Her articles were originally posted and may be found here: My High School Days. You may reach her at the this email: as email in article is old and defunct.

She has been asked if she will write some more of these and her answer is, "The answer to that question is, not likely in the near future. The events in those posts occurred more than 10 years ago now, and I honestly don't think I could get myself into the same frame of mind."