Describing the peer pressure on students at any level of education in Japan

Essay by KAZ418High School, 12th gradeA-, August 2004

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Bullying is one of the serious problems in Japan. It is certainly related with the pressures to conform that children face in Japan's highly competitive system of education. Some bullied kids have died by suicide. Sometimes, teachers are unnoticed of this, because it is done in secret.The common perception is that students who are socially isolated, have poor social skills, or who are physically weak are often the targets of bullying. These students are not only weakly connected to their classmates, but are often emotionally unable to cope with mild forms of verbal harassment that other students consider "play." Teachers and parents both perceived that in recent years the number of students who were potential social isolates was growing. These students are also likely to refuse to go to school, another problem, which concerns educators and parents.

There are few employment opportunities for students who have dropped out of school.

While high school students may find part-time jobs or gradually be absorbed into working-class life, students who become disconnected from school in their junior high school years have nowhere to go. So, in order to get job, students must work hard to graduate school and go to college. Also, most Japanese students don't want to "lose" to their friends by getting lower points on the various tests and quizzes that occur frequently in Japanese schools. However, this same consciousness of wanting to be like friends can also lead students who might have done better to not try their hardest in order to fit in with the group. The two tendencies are not contradictory but stem from the student's desire to be like his or her friends. When friends are interested in school advancement, there will be friendly rivalry over who gets the most points on tests. When students are...