Photo: Twitter/@__nemui__zZ
national

Japanese cram school gives students permission to smash window, break into building on test day

27 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

If you were going to describe Japanese teens in broad terms, “studious” and “law-abiding” would be pretty good choices. But one cram school understands that in extreme circumstances, those two aspects may come into conflict with each other.

This weekend, students across Japan will take the Center Test, a two-day standardized examination that numerous universities use as their entrance exam, or at least a major part of their admission criteria (it’s essentially Japan’s version of America’s SAT). So the pupils at Joysta, a cram school in the Shimane Prefecture town of Izumo have a lot on their minds as they come to class this week for their final lessons before the test.

Kids are still kids, though, and the Joysta staff knows that they might forget something critical, like their test registration paperwork or ID, in the classroom and not realize it until the morning of the test. Notice we said morning. The Center Test starts at 9:30 in the morning, while Joysta doesn’t open until 2 in the afternoon. So what should Joysta pupils do if the need to get something from the classroom before the test?

Break in.

The school has posted a notice (above), shared by Twitter user @nemuizZ, which reads:

"If you’ve forgotten something in the classroom on the day of the Center Test:

The test starts early in the morning, so there will be no instructors at Joysta at that time. Even if you contact us by phone or email, we will be unable to come quickly to the school.

If you absolutely must get into the classroom, you are allowed to smash the school window next to the bicycle parking area. You will, of course, be charged a repair fee, but this is better than blowing your chance to take the test.

Also, be aware that after you smash the window, police officers will quickly arrive, so please retrieve your belongings and get out of the school within three minutes. If the police catch you, you will be late for the test."

It’s hard to say whether this is kind or crazy. On the one hand, it’s remarkably understanding of Joysta to acknowledge that desperate times call for desperate measures, and also considerately thorough of the staff to remind would-be burglars that they’ll need to make their escape before the police show up. On the other hand, if the school thinks there’s such a high chance that a student will need to get something that it needs to give express permission of this sort, maybe having one staff member come in early on the days of the test would be a good idea.

But @nemuizZ thinks there might be a subtler purpose to the sign. Even with their school’s permission, many teens would feel a natural resistance to break into the building, especially if they knew they’d also have to run from the police. So @nemuizZ’s theory is that by putting the sign up ahead of time and spelling out the undesirable scenario that could unfold, it’ll encourage students to be extra-diligent about not leaving anything behind in the classroom.

Source: Twitter/@nemuizZ via Jin

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© SoraNews24

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

27 Comments
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Fair enough. But:

Even if you contact us by phone or email, we will be unable to come quickly to the school.

Yes, they can't come to the school, but the staff could at least call the coppers to tell them not to waste their time.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Reverse psychology at work here. If this cram school was worth anything they should have one of their staff at school, on the test day, to assist in the event that the students needed help.

Thank GOD that this center test is FINALLY going to be put to sleep in the next couple of years! It's antiquated and serves no other purpose than to show a students ability to memorize information.

The Japanese education system has some huge changes coming down the pipe, and folks are going to be surprised when the details start coming out!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Further fueling the manic “study for the test”, “this test determines your fate” kinda mentality.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

They could always just leave the door unlocked for one day. Or give an emergency number to call to find out where a key is temporarily hidden. A kid breaking a window for the first time may end up in hospital.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It’s hard to say whether this is kind or crazy.

Nope, it's easy. It's crazy, totally crazy.

Why don't the cram school simply do a check with the kids ahead of time, to make sure they don't leave behind anything they might need in the exam?

That would be preferable to encouraging kids to be forgetful; destroy property, even with permission; to make their parents liable for damages; to waste police time; and to consider their own circumstances more important than anything else.

Just teach the kids not to leave stuff behind in the first place.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I guess writing this note and getting the attention from the nationally-known SoraNews staff is publicity enough to ignore the obvious: station the youngest/newest full-time employee in the school “early in the morning,” aka 8:00 AM, to open the door and assist the students who are, I suspect, paying a huge monthly fee for this service.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why don't they just teach the kids some responsibility and/or remind them not to forgot necessary items before going home for the day. Seriously, what is happening to society these days!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Just have one staff member there for two hours that day. Not hard.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The Japanese education system has some huge changes coming down the pipe, and folks are going to be surprised when the details start coming out!

Have any sources in English you could share? I am keenly interested in reading about this, if that is possible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Most stupid and dangerous idea imo. Wasting police time. Criminal damage. Possible injury to students. The person who thought of this idea needs a reality check. Get your lazy butt into the office early on this day, if you think the problem exists.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

  • Publicity.

  • Warning to potential burglars that police / security will arrive within 3 minutes.

  • Bad idea for an actual test-taker, who could end up seriously injured.
5 ( +5 / -0 )

(My plus/minuses turned into uniform bullets. I guess you can all guess figure it out)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Guys, guys, guys, what is with all the outrage? It is explained (imperfectly) in the final paragraph.

But @nemuizZ thinks there might be a subtler purpose to the sign. Even with their school’s permission, many teens would feel a natural resistance to break into the building, especially if they knew they’d also have to run from the police. So @nemuizZ’s theory is that by putting the sign up ahead of time and spelling out the undesirable scenario that could unfold, it’ll encourage students to be extra-diligent about not leaving anything behind in the classroom.

If you can read Japanese and understand the tone, the whole post is clearly a warning, in the form of ridiculous parody advice, to make sure the kids don't leave anything behind. The idea in Japanese culture that responsible adults would suggest kids take action that would result in them having to run from the police is so ludicrous that this can only be interpreted in this comedic way. It gets people attention, and its very well done.

The reason I say that the final paragraph explains the situation imperfectly is that it uses the phrase "even with their school’s permission". This is not correct. As the statement is not serious, the school is not granting "permission" at all. They credit their kids with enough intelligence to realize this.

I am surprised to see so many people failing to catch this interpretation and taking the statement at face value.

In the UK, it might be true that the police have given up even chasing people who, say, shop lift less than 100 pounds worth of goods. But in Japan, any trouble with the police can ruin your life and reputation. This knowledge should be enough to confirm that the school is not seriously suggesting students should break in and try to evade officers on the way out. If the statement simply said only 'feel free to break in but you would have to pay us for the damage' then the jury might be out on whether the advice was genuine or not but adding 'you'll have to be quick as the police will be their in three minutes' clearly marks this out as fake news.

I would not be surprised if they have staff at the school on the morning as others have suggested. They are just trying to help the kids by coming up with a novel way of attracting their attention and encouraging them to get their stuff together.

Most stupid and dangerous idea imo. Wasting police time. Criminal damage. Possible injury to students. The person who thought of this idea needs a reality check. Get your lazy butt into the office early on this day, if you think the problem exists.

Absolute irony bypass here mate, sorry.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

School authorities aren't going to suggest even in the US that you can do this, but incidentally you must be out in 3 minutes and being apprehended is bad because the student will be late to the test center. Of course it is a joke. It doesn't even make sense on the face. If there is no arrest, it can be prosecuted as a crime and the "criminal" could not be forced to pay a fine to the government as his punishment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I read it as a joke, but the part that stuck out to me was 'within 3 minutes.' Really? The Japanese cops? Must be a koban next door.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Have any sources in English you could share? I am keenly interested in reading about this, if that is possible.

The link that jcapan provided is great for the university portion, but the actual curriculum which is being finalized will have sweeping changes with regards to testing and actual classroom work as well.

For example here, historical figures like Sakamoto Ryoma and others will be gone from the textbooks and memorization work, the keystone of Japanese education up to now, will be changing to more thought based and subjective graded content.

Example,

(Current Format) In what year were firearms introduced to Japan, and where? The students would need to memorize the dates and locations.

(New Format) In 1543 the Portuguese introduced firearms into Japan through Tanegashima, how was society changed by their introduction?

I am paraphrasing an example that was given to me by a man who is currently involved in the preparation process.

MEXT introduced what was wrongly called the "yutori-kyoiku" over a decade ago, and it failed because they failed to change the university entrance exams, however it seems, to me at least, that they are working to get something right THIS time!

Going to be VERY interesting to see what these cram schools morph into when they have to start teaching kids HOW to think and not WHAT to think or remember. I THINK that many will, thankfully, disappear!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Jc: Thanks for the link.

Yubaru: Thanks for the follow up.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

LOL in 64 I was a kid at Casimir Elem. Torrance Calif one Saturday morning decided

ala Don Quixote the cafeteria was my enemy and proceeded to smash every window

about 20 in all, then climbed on the roof to further disable the enemy,

fell off, broke my arm, police and fire engine teams extracted me,

taken to Terminal Island Navy Hospital,

suspend from school a week and we all recovered

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Count me as dubious that any significant change will occur within public schools in/by 2020. It will mean a massive change in the way the current teachers instruct... I don't see that happening with any haste. BUT... IB schools are starting to pop up, including within the government sector. This is a positive.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Jpn-guy

Absolute irony bypass here mate, sorry.

Yeah...sorry for singling me out mate. Others came to the same conclusion you know!

I don't read Japanese well. I get by (sort of) speaking though.

This is an English news site is it not??

I read the article in English and never gave it a second thought. Commented on what I read yeah?

Had it been written in French? Yeah...pretty fluent in that (My second language) But no...it was in English right.

So...step down from that high horse you're perched on cowboy.

Thanks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OK, sorry, you are right, that was unnecessary. I take it back but can't edit or delete. So I 'll just leave this apology here. Have a good weekend.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru

As someone who works in education, I’d be very surprised if Japan had any real changes coming through.

Not to mention Japan is slow to change on anything that doesnt involve the prime ministers power or finances.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As someone who works in education, I’d be very surprised if Japan had any real changes coming through.

Then get ready to be surprised, as the center test as it is known NOW is on its last legs.

And the changes I mentioned are coming, if you are here in another year or two you will know as well!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ok well Im sure you are refering to some things, but the buggest change(s) may be in the new requirements for preschools and kindergardens.

As for changes, in Japan if there were fundemental changes, wouldnt the teachers and principals be in the know and be studying and training for it?

But if the biggest “change” ends up being wording being more subjective and progressive, and updated grading systems... ok thats nice.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As for changes, in Japan if there were fundemental changes, wouldnt the teachers and principals be in the know and be studying and training for it?

They are.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YubaruJan. 13  12:15 pm JST

They are.

Source? I have a few acquaintances who are either Japanese English teachers or in admin (admittedly, semi-rural Japan), and nothing there yet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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