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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Two-year graduation eyed for elite high school students

Kyodo

The education ministry is planning to allow high school students with stellar academic records to graduate after just two years, sources said.

The envisioned system will be part of government efforts to produce a new generation of elite businesspeople, academics and scientists that will continue Japan's international successes in a variety of fields, according to the sources.

Students that demonstrate exceptional aptitude in areas such as science and technology would especially benefit from the envisioned system, they said.

However, the two-year graduation system is expected to be criticized as overly elitist and could potentially result in some parents putting excessive pressure on their children to excel at school, according to education experts.

High achievers are already permitted to enroll in universities after completing two years of high school, but they need to go through a complicated set of procedures to do so.

In addition, they are viewed as dropouts under the rigid educational system.

As a result, only 100 students or so have entered universities after two years of high school since 1998, and they have been accepted by only six institutions.



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