Gap between school and life

Seeing a school play for the first time in many years, I noticed a preposterous phenomenon. The play comprised six acts, but the character of the protagonist was played by a different student for each act, so it was very hard for me to grasp the story line.

Shouldn’t the protagonist be played by one person?

I was really shocked. I learned afterward that it’s quite common these days for schools to provide more “equal opportunity” for every student, and that includes having a number of students play the main character in a play.

Some people say that parents nowadays are so fastidious about who is chosen to play the lead character that schools have no choice but to adopt this measure.

I also heard that, for a while, during athletic meets, some public schools had stopped ranking students in track and field competition as the schools believed that all students should consider themselves equal to each other. But that policy became so controversial that they resumed ranking students.

I think public schools are still in love with the ideal of having students reach a draw in athletic as well as in other forms of competition. It is evident that the gap between the real situation in the world and the school environment has become glaring.

As we all know, once students start making their way in the world, they must survive fierce competition and put up with being ranked for the rest of their lives. I hope that Japanese education authorities give more thought to what they’re doing.

shuichi john watanabe
tokyo

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.