Back to School… The Summer’s Over
The summer for students in Japan and for myself has officially come to an end. School started this week with little fan fare due the change from a 3 semester system to a 2 semester system this year. While before, the end of the summer marked the beginning of the second term, this year the summer was viewed as just another short holiday. As I’ve previously written, unlike in the United States, students in Japan move to the next grade in the Spring. Thus, their return after the summer is less eventful than in other countries. The end of the first term will be in October, when Homeroom teachers put in long hours correcting each test manually. Without the aid of the popular mechanical scan-trons used in the United States, where a machine spits out scores – teachers in Japan are required to correct each test by hand. Next week is the ever-popular school cultural festival (bunkasai), more on that to follow.