Monday, April 22, 2013

First Graders Walk to School (Mostly) on Their Own

My Japanese friend has decided to take her six-year-old son to Japan for a few weeks starting this month to experience first grade in a Japanese school. Her biggest worry is him walking to school without her. In Japan, most elementary school kids don't ride a school bus. They follow a sixth grader "hancho" (group leader) and walk in small groups to school, mostly on their own. And guess what, that is where we get the term "head hancho" in English.
Sometimes children living in the same neighborhood go to their school in a group. In places where there's a lot of traffic on the roads, parents and school employees take turns watching at the crosswalks to make sure the kids can cross safely. Children are taught to raise their hands to let car drivers see that they're crossing; sometimes they also get special flags to use at the crosswalks. And certain elementary schools have their younger pupils all wear the same sort of brightly colored hat when they're on their way to or from school to make it easier for drivers and others to see them.
From: Web Japan

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