How many times have you complained about your schoolwork today?
If you think Canadian students have it bad, try attending a Japanese
school. I haven't personally tried it, but I have visited Japan
and talked to students who do.
The time that Japanese students spend in school is much more
concentrated than in Canada. Many students also go to evening
classes--even kindergarteners. I rarely spend more than an hour
after school doing homework. Some Japanese schools have classes
six days a week. As soon as school is out in June, many Canadian
students throw out or even burn their papers. In Japan, they
attend summer school and take extra classes.
of Canada's SchoolNet
In Asahikawa--the city where I stayed for two months--the
'rat race' was especially bad. The students' marks from exams
are posted in the newspapers for everyone to read. The school
a student attends depends on the exam marks. Here in Canada,
our public schools are open and admission is not based on a student's
These are just a few of the differences between education
in the two countries. I don't expect Canadian students to stop
complaining completely. Yet I do hope such an awareness will
help us, as Canadians, to appreciate how good we actually have
it in our schools.