Would these Finnish students be as successful if they’d gone through the Japanese school system instead?

Whenever there are lists made of the best schools and education systems in the world, one country always comes out on top: Finland. For those unfamiliar with different countries’ education systems, it may come as a surprise, but this Northern European nation is clearly doing something right.

And it’s doing it in a fairly relaxed way. Compared to other countries, Finland schools give less homework, have fewer standardized tests, and overall give the students more freedom. So what do these Finnish students think when they hear about Japan’s notoriously strict ways of educating their youth?

Japanese Twitter user @noginoginanamai recently posted screenshots from a Japanese TV show, showing Finnish students reactions to just that:

“This is the way of thinking in Finland, the country with the
best education in the world. Japan is too strict.” (Translations below)


Staff: “In Japan it’s against the rules for students to dye their hair or wear earrings.”

Student: “I definitely wouldn’t go to school if that were me!”

Narrator: “Teachers don’t get mad even if students lie down while in class.”

Principal: “Students being able to concentrate and learn is more important than anything else.”

Compared to Japan, Finland seems incredibly relaxed. Heck, even compared to my home country the U.S. it’s more relaxed! We may not have had uniforms and banned accessories at my school, but we still had assigned seats at rigid, uncomfortable desks. And concentration and learning were certainly not the most important parts of my school experience — doing well on tests was.

It seems like a difference in priorities. In Finland, the end goal is for students to learn, so who cares about how they get there? Whereas in Japan and the U.S. and other countries, the end goal is still learning, but there are other priorities along the way: encouraging uniformity and getting funding to name a few.

Here’s how Japanese Twitter reacted to Finnish students reacting to their school system:

“If they did this in Japan, then maybe kids who couldn’t learn before would start learning. The rules are too strict and if you complain, no one cares.”

“Not only are schools more relaxed in Finland, but college and vocational schools are all free. I’m so jealous. Japan is too strict. Is there no way to change it?”

“Looking at this of course makes me want to praise Finland, but I think the cultural differences between Japan and Finland are so big that it’s not useful. I don’t think Japan’s education system should stay the way it is, but just copying another country’s system to try and fix it doesn’t seem like the solution.”

“Even in Japan, some private schools for advanced students don’t have strict rules. It seems that if the students want to learn on their own, then they will, and don’t need rules. Unfortunately in Japan, that’s not the case for most students.”

“I feel like Japanese schools aren’t so much strict as they just make a lot of unnecessary rules.”

For sure, cultural differences have a lot to do with it. Would Japan still be the same Japan after a generation or two if its school system were different? It’s hard to say for sure.

But at the same time, when schools ban ponytails for “conjuring lustful feelings,” then something’s gotta change.

Source: Twitter/@noginoginanamai via My Game News Flash
Top image: PAKUTASO