Education journalist Toshimasa Ota in January 2021 released a book entitled, ‘Top 10 Super Preparatory Schools Showdown’, where he featured an in-depth analysis of public and private high schools in Japan who have shown impressive passing rates in the country’s competitive universities and public medical school examinations.
Toshimasa presented separate rankings for those who have successfully passed the entrance examinations of The University of Tokyo (for the east), Kyoto University (for the west), and 50 Public Medical Schools, and a summary comparison which spanned from 2016 to 2020. La Salle Gakuen in Kagoshima ranked in the Top 10 spot in the final analysis.
In his online articles, Toshimasa said that until the 1960s, the public schools used to be at the top of the rankings but from the 1980s, the private schools gained significant traction. For the University of Tokyo, most of the top schools were private schools for boys. La Salle Kagoshima landed in the Top 13 on that list. For Kyoto University, the public schools fared better due to the expansion of the school districts in Kansai in recent years.
For the public medical schools ranking, La Salle Kagoshima was ranked as the Top 4 in the list. While La Salle Kagoshima used to rank higher in Tokyo University in years past, the new ranking in the public medical schools reflects the shift in career goals, mainly in the field of medicine, as a response to the increasing needs of an aging population.
One of the school’s former pillars, Br. Marcel Petit FSC, wrote in a 1983 Lasalliana article, “[In Japan, Catholic] schools are operating under a handicap, which only a high reputation, based upon academic superiority and excellent moral training, will enable them to overcome. Catholic schools must be outstanding schools if they wish to succeed.”
As the school celebrates its 70th founding anniversary, Br. Marcel’s words continue to be an enriching piece for reflection, not only for the school community but also for the Lasallian mission in Japan. (Text & Photo: Br. Aikee Esmeli FSC)
(Original articles may be found on the following links. If opened through a Google Chrome browser, a rough English translation option would be available.)
La Salle Gakuen’s 70th batch of senior high school students in their graduation ceremony last February 10