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TODAY Special: Education around the world

Shinagawa Ward Daiichi Hino Sukoyaka-en featured a shared space between the elementary school and the day care. Photo: Alvin Chong
Kids enjoy a meal at Fuji Kindergarten's affiliated day care centre. Photo: Alvin Chong
Kids enjoy a meal at Fuji Kindergarten's affiliated day care centre. Photo: Alvin Chong
Fuji Kindergarten students get to get their hands dirty while farming. Photo: Alvin Chong
Fuji Kindergarten students get to get their hands dirty while farming. PHOTO: ALVIN CHONG
Fuji Kindergarten students get to experience farming. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
The grounds of Fuji Kindergarten in Tokyo feature a roof where kids can run around freely. Photo: Alvin Chong
Japanese school children enjoy the outdoors during autumn at Tokyo Gakugei University. Photo: Alvin Chong
Japanese school children enjoy the outdoors during autumn at Tokyo Gakugei University. Photo: Alvin Chong
Children at Shinjuku Seiga Nursery School enjoy lunch together. Photo: Alvin Chong
Children at Shinjuku Seiga Nursery School help to serve each other during lunch. Photo: Alvin Chong
Kids at the Ochanomizu University Kindergarten get to build their own fort with cardboard. Photo: Alvin Chong
Kids at the Ochanomizu University Kindergarten get to build their own fort with cardboard and cloth. Photo: Alvin Chong
Kids at the Ochanomizu University Kindergarten are allowed to roam in the wooded area. Photo: Alvin Chong
Play is allowed to get rough at Ochanomizu University Kindergarten. Photo: Alvin Chong
Shinagawa Ward Daiichi Hino Sukoyaka-en featured a shared space between the elementary school and the day care. Photo: Alvin Chong
Children playing with clay at Shinjuku Seiga Nursery School. In Japan, parents believe that in pre-schools, children play and should be part of a large community. Photo: Alvin Chong
Children queueing up for food at Shinjuku Seiga Nursery School. PHOTO: ALVIN CHONG
Large class sizes are common at Ochanomizu University Kindergarten.
Large class sizes are common at Ochanomizu University Kindergaten. Photo: Alvin Chong
Kids enjoy a puppet show at Ochanomizu University Kindergaten. Photo: Alvin Chong
Vice-principal of Ochanomizu University Kindergaten, Ms Akemi Miyasato, orders an "ice cream" from on of the students. Photo: Alvin Chong
Kids enjoy a game of dodgeball at Shinagawa Ward Daiichi Hino Sukoyaka-en. Photo: Alvin Chong
A boy jumps rope at Shinagawa Ward Daiichi Hino Sukoyaka-en. Photo: Alvin Chong
Kids perform a choreographed dance at Shinagawa Ward Daiichi Hino Sukoyaka-en. Photo: Alvin Chong
Kids play at board game at Shinagawa Ward Daiichi Hino Sukoyaka-en. Photo: Alvin Chong
The Shiseido "Kangaroom Shiodome". Photo: Alvin Chong
Carer Saori Nara reads to children at the Shiseido "Kangaroom Shiodome". Photo: Alvin Chong
Toddlers at the Shiseido "Kangaroom Shiodome". Photo: Alvin Chong
The Shiseido Kangaroom Shiodome is an in-house day care for Shiseido employees and other nearby firms. Photo: Alvin Chong
Shiseido Kangaroom Shiodome human resource manager Hideyuki Kanai plays with some of the kids in day care. Photo: Alvin Chong
It is common for Taiwanese parents to read stories to classes in their children’s pre-school or participate in parenting workshops. PHOTO: OOI BOON KEONG
Students take their afternoon nap at Sunshine Kindergarten on 1 Nov 2013. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG
Students take their afternoon snack at Sunshine Kindergarten on 1 Nov 2013. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG
A teacher helps a student brush his teeth at San Min preschool on 5 Nov 2013. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG
Students sing and play with instruments during free play period at Da Jia preschool on 6 Nov 2013. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG
...
A teacher keeps watch of the children while they are at play in Nan-Hai Experimental Preschool on 29 Oct 2013. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG
Two students share a laugh during lesson at Nan-Hai Experimental Preschool on 29 Oct 2013. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG
...
A teacher shows students a caterpillar during a lesson at Xinsheng Elementary School on 30 Oct 2013. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG
Students use the hula hoop during an outdoor lesson at Xinsheng Elementary School on 30 Oct 2013. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG
Students line up to pack in their beddings after their afternoon nap at Sunshine Kindergarten on 1 Nov 2013. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG
Relays are some of the outdoor activities students do at National Taiwan University Preschool. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG
Students observe a real caterpillar during a lesson at Xinsheng Elementary School on 30 Oct 2013. Photo by OOI BOON KEONG
K1 Math hagwon director Kim Hong-Myoung, a former school teacher himself, sets entrance tests to admit higher-ability students. He believes in advanced learning, saying that it give students more time to concentrate on weaker areas. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
In 2008, the Korean government introduced a 10pm curfew on tuition centres. TODAY visited a popular tuition area in Gangnam district on a Thursday night and at the stroke of ten, road marshals are at hand to direct heavy traffic. Parents zoomed in to pick up scores of school-going children. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
In 2008, the Korean government introduced a 10pm curfew on tuition centres. TODAY visited a popular tuition area in Gangnam district on a Thursday night and the streets lighted up instanteneously from 10pm onwards. The Seoul authorities said that tuition centres breaking the 10pm rule is dropping, from 450 in 2010 to 235 last year. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
Photo: Ng Jing Yng
K1 Math hagwon director Kim Hong-Myoung, a former school teacher himself, sets entrance tests to admit higher-ability students. He believes in advanced learning, saying that it give students more time to concentrate on weaker areas. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
Former star tutor Lee Bohm. 44. used to earn USD 1 million every year for five years just by giving private tuition. He later left the industry as he was disillusioned about the industry. He felt that something has to be done about the competitive college admission system. Today, he travels around Korea to advocate for better education policies.
At Ewoo School , which bans tuition, parents have to sign an undertaking before their child is admitted. Students also face consequences such as being denied a university's recommendation letter if they attend tuition classes on the sly. From left to right (clockwise): Student Kim Hye-Ri. English Teacher Kim Jinwon and English native teacherAlexis Van Den Heever. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
Student Kim Hye Ri and teachers Kim Jinwon (standing) and Alexis van den Heever at Ewoo School, which bans its pupils from having tuition. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
Ewoo School, which bans tuition, is housed about an hour drive from downtown Seoul. Among the school's founding principles is to encourage collaborative learning. The school has structures such as this yurt acting as a classroom for students. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
Ewoo School, which bans tuition, is housed about an hour drive from downtown Seoul. Among the school's founding principles is to encourage collaborative learning. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
Ewoo School, which bans tuition, is housed about an hour drive from downtown Seoul. Among the school's founding principles is to encourage collaborative learning. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
New Study Math tutor Moon Ahn Il felt private tuition centres can provide customised attention for students, which public schools cannot give. He noted that tutors can offer lessons at an advanced level for faster learners and more help for weaker students. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
New Study's Math tutor Moon Ahn-il felt that tuition centres can provide customised attention for students - an aspect that public schools cannot do. He noted that tutors can offer advance learning for faster learners and more help for weaker students. These days, he also acts as a counselling, having to research on higher learning opportunities and dispensing school advice. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
K1 Math hagwon director Kim Hong-Myoung, a former school teacher himself, sets entrance tests to admit higher-ability students. He believes in advanced learning, saying that it give students more time to concentrate on weaker areas. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
K1 Math hagwon director Kim Hong-Myoung, a former school teacher himself, sets entrance tests to admit higher-ability students. He believes in advanced learning, saying that it give students more time to concentrate on weaker areas. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
An advertisment banner outside New Study tuition centre. Such tuition advertisments, touting top scorers and promising to send students to prestigious universities, are ubiquitous across Seoul. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
In 2008, the Korean government introduced a 10pm curfew on tuition centres. TODAY visited a popular tuition area in Gangnam district on a Thursday night and at the stroke of ten, road marshals are at hand to direct heavy traffic. Parents zoomed in to pick up scores of school-going children. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
In 2008, the Korean government introduced a 10pm curfew on tuition centres. TODAY visited a popular tuition area in Gangnam district on a Thursday night and the streets lighted up instanteneously from 10pm onwards. The Seoul authorities said that tuition centres breaking the 10pm rule is dropping, from 450 in 2010 to 235 last year. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
Kim Jang Joo dreams to get into Seoul National University. Re-taking his college entrance exams this year, Jang Joo attends a tuition centre (Daesung Institute) that bans dating and see him studying from 7am to midnight everyday. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
Kim Jang Joo dreams to get into Seoul National University. Re-taking his college entrance exams this year, Jang Joo attends a tuition centre that bans dating and see him studying from 7am to midnight everyday. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
At Daesung Institute, the five-decade old tuition centre has built its name around producing top scorers in Korea's annual college entrance exams. The tuition centre caters to those re-taking the college entrance exams. There are 50 pupils in each class and tutors are evaluated twice a year through students' feedback. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Children learning through role-playing at Shanghai Dongzhan Kindergarten, a privately-run pre-school. Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Children playing outdoors at Sinan Road Kindergarten, a government-run ‘model’ pre-school in Shanghai. Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Photo: Don Wong
Photo: Don Wong
Photo: Don Wong
Photo: Don Wong
Photo: Don Wong
A student goofing in class at the Baptist Lui Ming Choi Primary School in Hong Kong. Photo: Don Wong
Two teachers teaching a math class at the Baptist Lui Ming Choi Primary School in Hong Kong. Photo: Don Wong
A chalk board and dusters seen at the Baptist Lui Ming Choi Primary School in Hong Kong. Photo: Don Wong
Students participating in a group discussion during math class at the Baptist Lui Ming Choi Primary School in Hong Kong. Photo: Don Wong
A student answering a teacher's question in front of a class during a language lesson at the Baptist Liu Ming Choi Primary School in Hong Kong. Photo: Don Wong
Two teachers, Miss Lau Mo Yin (foreground) and Miss Leung Sin Ming, teaching a language class at the Baptist Lui Ming Choi Primary School in Hong Kong. Photo: Don Wong
School principal of Baptist Lui Ming Choi Primary School in Hong Kong enquiring students about their school holidays during lesson time. Photo: Don Wong
Photo: Don Wong
Students participate in a game during an English lesson at the Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee Kung Yik She Primary School in Hong Kong. Photo: Don Wong
A teacher consoles a student after a game during an English lesson at the Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee Kung Yik She Primary School in Hong Kong. Photo: Don Wong
Students learning English through song at the Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee Kung Yik She Primary School in Hong Kong. Photo: Don Wong
Two teachers teaching a math class at the Baptist Lui Ming Choi Primary School in Hong Kong. Photo by Don Wong.
A student attempts to solve a math question at the Baptist Lui Ming Choi Primary School in Hong Kong.
The outdoors of Maininki School in Espoo city. Once the bell rings at 2pm across schools in Finland, students indulge in pastimes like ice hockey and music. There are no private tuition programmes. Photo: Ng Jing Yng
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