COMPULSORY EDUCATION (gimu kyoiku／義務教育)
It is not compulsory for foreign nationals living in Japan to attend school, but attendance is permitted. The nine years of education at primary and junior high schools are compulsory for Japanese nationals.
Public primary and junior high schools are managed by the city.
To apply, you need your Alien Registration Card and Personal Seal (hanko／判子).
For further information please contact the School Education Division (gakko kyoikuka／学校教育課 TEL: 22-7542) at the Iwaki City Board of Education.
When entering a public school, the city will allocate your child with a local school according to your address.
Learning support volunteers may also be able to assist your child's education.
NURSERY SCHOOL (hoikusho／保育所)
There are 62 private and public nursery schools in Iwaki that children may attend if their parents work or for whatever reason cannot provide full time home care for their child.
Nursery school is for children under school age, i.e. they are too young to enter primary school.
Minimum entry age and school hours differ from school to school.
Private nursery schools are generally known as hoikuen (保育園)，and public ones as hoikusho (保育所).
For further information about public nursery schools contact the Children and Families Division (jido kateika／児童家庭課 TEL: 22-7452) at Iwaki City Hall.
For information regarding entrance to private nursery schools apply directly to the school concerned.
Kindergartens cater for children over three years of age, up until they enter primary school.
Private kindergartens are common and each kindergarten has their own curriculum.
For public kindergarten entrance procedures and general kindergarten information, contact the School Education Division (gakko kyoikuka／学校教育課 TEL: 22-7542) at the Iwaki City Board of Education.
For more information regarding entrance to private kindergartens, apply directly to the kindergarten.
SCHOOL SYSTEM (gakko seido／学校制度)
Japan has a 6-3-3-4 education system: 6 years at primary school (shogakko／小学校); 3 at junior high school (chugakko／中学校); 3 at high school (koko／高校); and 4 at university (daigaku／大学).
There are also quite a few 2 year-colleges (tandai／短大) in Japan.
HIGH SCHOOL (kotogako／高等学校)
To enter high school a student must have graduated from Junior High School, or in the case of a foreign national, they must have completed nine years of schooling.
There is also an entrance exam.
Of course, the entrance examination and lessons are conducted in Japanese, but there are some schools that provide special consideration for non-Japanese.
For further information, contact the Iwaki Education Office, High School Education Division (iwaki kyoiku jmusho, koto gakko kyoikuka／いわき教育事務所 高等学校教育課; TEL: 24-6217).
If you have completed any one of the following requirements you will be eligible to apply to a Japanese university.
You must also pass the entrance test for the university to which you apply.
There are some institutions that offer special consideration with regard to the entrance test for foreigners.
Graduation from a Japanese (or foreign) high school,
Pass the University Entrance Qualification Examination,
Graduation with International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) from an International School.
JAPANESE PROFICIENCY TEST (nihongo noryoku shiken／日本語能力試験)
This exam is held once a year in selected locations around the world and is targeted at non-native Japanese speakers.
The exam is structured in 4 levels of difficulty, level 4 being the easiest and 1 being the hardest.
Passing the Level 1 exam is recognised by some universities in Japan, as being the equivalent of a native speaker, and can therefore allow you to enter the university in the same manner as a Japanese student would.
For enquiries about the test, call the Japanese Association of International Education (nihon kokusai kyoiku kyokai／財団法人日本国際教育協会TEL: 03-5454-5215 ).
Procedures for Children with Foreign Nationalities to Enter Public Elementary School/Junior High School
City Exchange Section, Division of Coordination and Citizenry Affairs
TEL : 0246-22-7415 FAX : 0246-22-7609 Email Enquiries