The early education starts from the age of 3. There is kindergarten that is created to cater towards the children. The programs are usually between one to three years. This kindergarten is known as Yochien. The elementary education (Shogakko) is between the ages of 6 and 12. These are the main school programs for education of the children. There is focus given to other areas other than technical education. In the recent year, there is focus given to English education as the students do not score well in the standard tests. To work in the global economy and to sustain in the current dynamics, the children are taught English.
On an average, the school starts around 7.45 am and each classroom session is for 40 minutes. The students are given a break of 5 to 10 minutes in between to rest. The lunch is a special time for the students. The school system considers the time during lunch to be a special teaching tool. Many important food habits are taught to the children. In the early years of schooling, the children are taught about the importance of fresh foods and they are made to help around in the kitchen . This helps the students to gain awareness of healthy foods. Each food plate is served in special obento boxes with fresh prepared foods. These include a range of food groups. They are made to help in the kitchen to gain awareness of responsibility and cleanliness. The students and the teachers all eat together to gain a sense of community. There is high level of inclusivity in this process. The students in the primary classes are allowed to go home after lunch. Once the school is over, there are a number of after-school activities that are offered in primary schools. However, there is a lack in the number of outside sports that the children play.
There is focus on the cognitive and comprehensive development of the child in this process. However, this education system also faces controversy. There are financial stresses, changing dynamics in the cultural ideology and increase in the number of bullying incidents within the school.