Right to Complain: Do Canadian Students Have It?

By: Melisa Dueck
Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, MB

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.

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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 marks.

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.