Japanese school kids get to sweep the floors


I came across this in my facebook feed. To paraphrase the comments that people left with the article..

“Good, Japanese kids are much better behaved than kids in the UK. They have respect for their elders”

Schooling is compulsory in Japan for elementary and secondary school. So the parents of the children can not decide whether or not their children attend school, and the children certainly can not decide. As school attendance is forced, we can not tell which children would go there if they had the choice. I guess there are some ,but I also guess there are a lot who would not attend.

For those who, given the choice, would not go to school, they are being held against their will and they have to do this cleaning under threat of sanctions and retaliation.

Does this lead to happier adults ?

Japans school system was set up in its current structure in 1947.

Now I get to cherry pick some statistics….

The suicide rate in Japan is 18.5 per 100,000 people per year. In the US it is 12.1 and in the UK it is 6.2.
The birth rate in Japan is 8 per 1000 people per year. In the US it is 13 and in the UK it is 12.

The place that controls you for 8 hours a day from the age of 5 to 18 must have a significant impact on adult happines. It is not the only thing that contributes to Japans high suicide rate, but it must be significant.


Paul King is a happily married unschooling dad of two wonderful boys. Currently living in Bali and working his way around the world. He runs the websites www.mypashmina.co.uk www.hammockheaven.co.uk and www.therealrugcompany.co.uk.

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