National

Yokohama Chinese school woos more Japanese kids

Kyodo

A Chinese school in the Chinatown area here will start entrance exams this fall for the first time due to an increasing number of Japanese applicants whose parents want them to learn Chinese, the school’s headmaster said Friday.

The children who pass the exams this fall will enter Yokohama Overseas Chinese School, which teaches kindergarten to 12th grade, next April. The exams will apply to both Japanese and Chinese applicants.

“We don’t want the exams to be an event for children to present test-passing techniques,” school headmaster Jiang Zaixiang said. “We want to accept as many children who are willing to learn as possible.”

The number of Japanese in the kindergarten and elementary school has increased since four or five years ago, school officials said.

Japanese now account for half of the 70 children in kindergarten and more than 20 percent of the 130 elementary pupils, they said.

The school, which has 300 children, held the first open house for the elementary school in June. Most of the roughly 40 people who attended were Japanese, the officials said.

The elementary school has eight hours of Chinese language a week. Pupils learn math and natural science in Chinese.

It has classes every Saturday as opposed to the recently adopted system of making Saturday a day off at public schools.

The school also has a rule to flunk pupils with poor academic achievements, although the rule has never been applied.

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