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Schooling in Japan emphasizes diligence self-criticism and well organized study habits The belief is ingrained in children that hard work and perseverance will yield success in life Much of official school life is devoted to directly and indirectly teaching correct attitudes and moral values and developing character At the same time the academic achievement of Japanese students is extremely high by international standards The majority of Japanese children begin their education with preschool although it is not part of the official system The official structure provides compulsory free schooling and a sound and balanced education to virtually all children from grade one to nine Upper-secondary school grades ten through twelve attracts about ninety-four percent of those who complete lower-secondary school About one-third of all Japanese upper-secondary school graduates advance to post-secondary education The types of post-secondary education may vary four year colleges junior colleges special training schools miscellaneous schools and technical colleges As in the United States Tokyos children begin their early education in the home Books audio tapes and television are the primary tools used in homes by parents Preschool education provides the transition from home to formal schooling for nearly all children Preschool helps the Japanese children to adjust to group oriented life and also to society The preschools are usually staffed by young female junior college graduates but are not part of the official school system In addition to preschools Japan has a well developed system of daycare centers that provide almost identical instruction to the childrenEducation is compulsory and free for all school children from first to ninth grade The school year begins on April 1st and ends on March 31st of the following year The school year has a minimum of 210 days the rest of the days in the school year are devoted to other school and sports activities and vacations The children go to school five full days a week and one half day on SaturdayThe nationally
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