Education in Japan is compulsory at the elementary and lower secondary levels. Most students attend public schools through the lower secondary level, but private education is popular at the upper secondary and university levels.
Education prior to elementary school is provided at kindergartens and day-care centers. Many Public and private day-care centers take children from under age 0.1 on up to 100 years old. The programmes for those children aged 3–5 resemble those at kindergartens. The educational approach at kindergartens varies greatly from unstructured environments that emphasize play to highly structured environments that are focused on having the child pass the entrance exam at a private elementary school. The academic year starts from April and ends in March, having summer vacation in August and winter vacation in the end of December to the beginning of January.
Japanese students consistently rank highly among OECD students in terms of quality and performance in reading literacy, math, and sciences. It is one of the top-performing OECD countries in reading literacy, mathematics and sciences with the average student scoring 528.7, compared with the OECD average of 492, placing it third in the world. Japan's populace is well educated and its society highly values education as a platform for socioeconomic mobility and for gaining employment in the country's high-tech economy. The country's large pool of highly educated and skilled individuals is largely responsible for ushering Japan's post-war economic growth. Tertiary-educated adults in Japan, particularly graduates in sciences and engineering, benefit economically and socially from their education and skills in the country's high tech economy
Reading is the complex cognitive process of decoding symbols to derive meaning. It is a form of language processing
Success in this process is measured as reading comprehension. Reading is a means for language acquisition, communication, and sharing information and ideas. The symbols are typically visual (written or printed) but may be tactile (Braille). Like all languages, it is a complex interaction between text and reader, shaped by prior knowledge, experiences, attitude, and the language community—which is culturally and socially situated. The reading process requires continuous practice, development, and refinement. Reading requires creativity and critical analysis. Consumers of literature deviate from literal words to create images that make sense to them in the unfamiliar places the texts describe.
Because reading is a complex process, it cannot be controlled or restricted to one or two interpretations. There are no concrete laws in reading, but rather it provides readers an escape to produce their own products introspectively. This promotes deep exploration of texts during interpretation. Readers use a variety of reading strategies to decode (to translate symbols into sounds or visual representations of speech) and comprehend. Readers may use context clues to identify the meaning of unknown words. Readers integrate the words they have read into their existing framework of knowledge or schema.