05m 00s

Many Tokyo metropolitan high schools dropping draconian school rules starting April

Learn Japanese from the News

Broadcast on April 11, 2022 Available until April 10, 2023

Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News". In this program we learn Japanese and more about Japan from news stories presented in simple Japanese. Today's headline is "Many Tokyo metropolitan high schools dropping draconian school rules starting April", which is put on NEWS WEB EASY's website on March 15th 2022. Keywords include such as 「厳しい(きびしい)kibishii」strict and 「生徒(せいと)seeto」student.



"Many Tokyo metropolitan high schools dropping draconian school rules starting April"

Welcome to "Learn Japanese from the News."
Join us as we learn Japanese and about the country from Japanese-language news stories. Today's headline is…

「厳(きび)しすぎる学校(がっこう)の規則(きそく) 多(おお)くの都立高校(とりつこうこう)が4月(がつ)からやめる」
"Many Tokyo metropolitan high schools dropping draconian school rules starting April". This is a news story that was put on NEWS WEB EASY's website on March 15th.
Before we go to the news clip, let's go over a few keywords to help us understand what's going on.
Tokyo metropolitan high school.
Let's keep these in mind as we listen to the news story in full.
This news story is about how certain excessive school regulations are being called into question. The Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education has asked area high schools to revise them.
So, a little bit of background: elementary, junior high and high schools in Japan each set their own rules for students regarding their studies and student life. These are called 校則(こうそく)Koosoku.
校則(こうそく)Koosoku is a good word to remember.
While these rules don't carry any legal weight, individual schools can punish students who break them, based on the notion that they "serve a legitimate educational purpose."
Some of these rules were made decades ago and have remained unchanged since. As a result, many are out of touch with the times and current social norms. In recent years there's been a push to revise these rules, especially among high schools.

Now we'll break down a few sentences from the news story that contain helpful expressions and keywords.
"Draconian school rules have become an issue."
There are two things we'd like to highlight here. The first is the expression:厳(きび)しすぎる.
One of the meanings of 過(す)ぎる is "to exceed," "to go over the normal amount or limit." We can add it on to words expressing the state of something, for example, you could say a dessert is 甘(あま)すぎる, too sweet. Or if you have an excessive amount of something, that's 多(おお)すぎる, too much.
The second phrase we'd like to highlight is:
問題(もんだい)is a word with several meanings. One is "question" as in "exam question" – a query requiring an answer. Another is "problem" or "issue," in the sense of a difficult or harmful situation that needs to be dealt with.
The phrase 問題(もんだい)になっていますmeans something has become a matter of concern; it has people's attention but hasn't been resolved yet.
OK, let's move on to the following sentence.
"There are schools that will retain a rule requiring students to submit documentation certifying their hair color or that their hair is not straight."
That's all for today.
Tune in again next time!

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