Junior high school is a five-year system, enrolling from the age of 11 to 16 years. The name was changed to junior high school in September 2000.
For an overview of upper secondary schools, the following explanation by Alexander Zhebin, a former Soviet journalist, is easy to understand.
The junior high school in Pyongyang’s Munsu Kori complex has thousands of students and thirty-eight teachers. It is a six-year system from five to ten years, and by that time one year of preparation in a kindergarten and a fourth-year people’s school. The 11th grade ordinary or compulsory education system was introduced in 1975.
Subjects include the history of activities of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, Korean language, Korean history and world history, geography, foreign languages (Russian or English), mathematics, physics, chemistry, physical education, music, as well as arts and automobiles. There are elective courses in operation and maintenance and computers.
The history of the revolutionary activities of Kim Il Sung twice a day, 30 minutes each, Kim Il Sung twice a week, and Kim Jong Il once.
Grading is divided into ten grades, with the highest being ten points. The semester is two semesters a year, the first half from September 1 to December 31. The second half is from February 16 to the end of June, and the school will be engaged in rural service while the school is closed. (Alexander Zhebin, The Gold Dynasty I See)
It means that there is no driving school in North Korea.
Junior high school students are also forced to work.
Kowon’s junior high school was severe. Whatever you do, you must act as a group. In the morning, after the joint service activities such as cleaning the road and brushing the statue, everyone marches in a row to school.
Sing a brave song that celebrates the country while waving their arms together. I had to do the same when I left home after a day’s lessons.
In North Korea, children who go to school need not just study. Children have become part of the unpaid workforce, which has barely stopped the collapse of the country.
We for the afternoon labor service. I always wore work clothes in my school bag. In the spring, help with planting at the collective farm.
During the autumn harvest, they pick up leftover rice, corn and beans. Small in hand we were suitable for that task.
I hated the job, but I was told that I shouldn’t waste a grain of rice because some people are hungry. (Park Yong-mi, “The Choice to Live”)
Military training begins when you enter Junior high school.
In the second semester of junior high school, there is full-scale military training for both men and women. During the week of July, go to a camp on a low mountain near the area and train intensively. The training starts at 5:30 in the morning, and the aiming training to shoot a gun aiming at the target plate 500 meters away is continued throughout the day. (Lu Jinzhu, “North Korea Seen by a Girl”)
The following is the course of graduates of junior high schools.
If there are 100 high school students, five will go to college and eighty will join the army. The remaining fifteen will be employed. The proportion of rural people going to the military is higher. (Asahi newspaper Aera editorial department, “Exiles from North Korea”)
There are only about 100 graduates in the first grade of junior high school in the countryside.
However, among them, even the central elite class universities, road class universities, vocational schools, etc., can enter only 15 students or less. (Jang Ki-hong, “North Korea: ordinary people”)