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October 31, 2003

Bilingual School in Demand

The special deregulated zone authorized this year in Ota City, Gunma Prefecture, looks set to be a big hit. There is already great competition for places at a "preschool" due to open next April, set up to prepare students for the bilingual curriculum at a new primary school scheduled to start a year later. There is a lot of competition, with three applicants for every place, as acceptance is seen as a guarantee of entry into the new primary school in 2005. Among applicants aiming for the 1st and 4th grades, about a third came from outside Ota, from the neighboring prefectures of Saitama and Tochigi, and even as far away as Tokyo and Chiba. The preschool will have classes of 30 students, who will attend three 50-minute classes a week. Monthly tuition fees will be in the range of ¥8-10,000. The application deadline was the end of September, and the first entrance exam will take place on November 23.
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