Admission to Desired School Yet Parents Suffer: Harrowing Reality of Junior High School Entrance Exams and the Aftermath Reveals a Billing Hell of Over 20 Million Yen | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Admission to Desired School Yet Parents Suffer: Harrowing Reality of Junior High School Entrance Exams and the Aftermath Reveals a Billing Hell of Over 20 Million Yen

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In Tokyo and Kanagawa, you may have seen parents and children traveling by train frequently in the mornings for several days starting on February 1. The cause of this familiar annual scene is junior high school entrance examinations. Despite the declining birthrate, the number of students taking entrance exams for junior high schools in the Tokyo metropolitan area is heating up. The number of applicants to private and national junior high schools has increased for nine consecutive years until last year, reaching a record high of 52,600 last year. The number is expected to reach the same level this year.

The cost of taking junior high school entrance exams is substantial. In preparation for the crucial battle in February, many children begin attending a major cram school in February of their third year of elementary school, or even as early as their first year of elementary school.

School buildings of Yotsuya Otsuka, a major junior high school entrance examination guidance company

Examinations for private schools begin on February 1, and for national and public schools on February 3.

In Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture, junior high school entrance examinations for private schools will be held on February 1, and those for public schools and national junior high schools on February 3. Many students who take the junior high school entrance exam will take the exam at several schools, including those that they have not yet passed. Many students take the examinations of different schools in the morning and afternoon. Some students change the school they take the next day based on the results of the previous day’s exam. All of this is done in order to secure a successful entrance exam.

On the morning of the day of the entrance examinations, cram school teachers wait at the school gates of difficult or famous junior high schools. They are there to encourage the students who will be taking the entrance examinations.

Naturally, it is the parents who bear the cost of cram school fees and other educational expenses. The websites of major cram schools do not clearly indicate the cost of cram school. It is only after visiting a school information session that the parents learn about the monthly fees. Furthermore, how many parents know that the cost increases rapidly in the 6th grade?

Hundreds of thousands of yen for summer courses, blue ceiling if attending an individual cram school

Mr. A, an office worker whose child took the junior high school entrance examination a few years ago, was stunned to see how little money was left in his bank account after the examination was over.

The monthly fee was 20,000 to 30,000 yen when he first started attending the school, but by the time he reached the 6th grade, it was 50,000 yen. I paid about 100,000 yen for the spring course, but that was not enough for the summer course. I remember paying about 600,000 yen just for the summer vacation period.

In addition to group tutoring at schools such as JNIH, many students also attend private tutoring schools.

The cost of private tutoring was not the only expense Mr. A’s family had to pay. In addition to attending a major cram school, she also attended an individual tutoring school to help her overcome subjects she was not good at. The cost per hour for tutoring is not comparable to that of group tutoring.

I sent him to a tutoring school in the middle of his 5th grade year to help him with math and science, which he was not good at. I don’t know exactly how much I paid, but it must have been close to 100,000 yen per month. It’s so horrible that I don’t even want to do the math. ……”

Mr. A is a salaryman with an annual income of less than 10 million yen, but he recalls, “I was desperate for my child.

To be honest, I was numb to the situation. If I had known how much money it would cost in the 6th grade, I could have prepared for it in advance. I wish they had told me earlier.”

Don’t forget that you will have to spend money even after entering junior high school.

It is a big mistake to think that once you pass the entrance exam and enter a private junior high school, you will no longer have to pay for cram school. Once you enter an extremely difficult junior high school, you will need to attend cram school in order to keep up with your schoolwork. There are cram schools for students aiming to enter Tokyo University and other difficult universities, as well as cram schools specializing in English …….

If a student were to take the junior high school entrance exam and attend a private school from junior high school to university, how much would the total cost of education be? An official at a major tutoring school, while stating that “the amount of money spent varies greatly depending on the family’s income,” said the following.

In many cases, magazines and the like report educational expenses of 15 to 18 million yen if a child attends a private school from junior high school to university. However, the cost of taking the junior high school entrance exam will jump if you attend a private tutoring cram school, and you will probably attend cram school for the university entrance exam as well. Moreover, the tuition fees for private universities have risen considerably since the time of our parents’ generation. It is probably best to assume that the cost of education, including the cost of taking junior high school entrance exams, will easily exceed 20 million yen.

Tuition costs do not stop there if a student goes from a private elementary school to a difficult junior high school. If a student takes an elementary school attached to a prestigious private university that has an escalator system up to university, he or she will have to pay for cram school and lessons for the elementary school entrance exam, and also pay high tuition fees for six years at the elementary school. Some parents say that it cost them “tens of millions of yen” by the time they enter junior high school.

Which path to take, and how much will education cost? Having the correct knowledge is the least we can do to protect ourselves.

  • Photo Kyodo News/Afro

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