A Closer Look to the Educational Sytems of the World
A Closer Look at theEducational Systems of theSelected Countries of the World
"To become a global teacheryou should be equipped with a wider range of knowledge of the various educationalsystems outside the country."
“Benchmarking is learning thebest from the best practices of the worlds best educational systems.”
“As a future teacher, you shall beguided by UNESCOs principle on the four pillars that Education is for All and that this education is anchored on the Four Pillarswhich are: 1. Learning to Know, 2.Learning to Do, 3. Learning to Be,and 4. Learning to Live together.”
a. Basic Education•Australia, called by many as the lastparadise on earth, has a high qualityeducational system.•Many students from all over the worldgo to Australia to study.• The educational system in Australia issimilar with that of Canada andEngland.
•Primary Schools are for six years, highschool, six years and college or university,three to six years. High school is divided intojunior high school (year 7- year 10) andsenior high school (year 11- year 12) butthese vary from state to state.•During the junior high school studies, mostAustralian students decide what to do afterhigh school. Students who intend to go tocollege or university entrance examination.Other students may get a job after year 10or go to a Technical and Further Education(TAFE) College to learn technical skills.
•The entry age of compulsory education is6 years old and exit age, 15 years old.•Primary education is provided bygovernment and non-government primaryschools. The length of the program is sixyears for six years old to twelve years oldchildren. However, in most states, childrenstart primary school at the age of fivewhen they enroll in preparatory orkindergarten year.
•After the primary school, the juniorsecondary level which is for four yearscomes next. The age level of childrenin this level is from 12 to 16 years old.At the end of the junior secondarylevel, a Junior Secondary Certificateof Education (Year 10 Certificate) isawarded. The government, non-government Co-EducationalComprehensive/Multi-Purpose HighSchool provides junior secondarylevel of education.
•A senior secondary level is providedfor two years after the junior secondarylevel. Students are from 16 to 18 yearsold in this level. Senior secondary levelis no longer compulsory education. It isbeing offered by government andnon-government providers. A seniorSecondary Certificate of Education(Year 12 Certificate) is awarded at theend of the senior secondary level.
•From the primary to the secondarylevels, most students are enrolled ingovernment schools which operateunder the direct responsibility of theState or Territory Education Minister.•The federal government providessupplementary financial support.
b. Higher EducationThe main purpose of Australian HigherEducation are:1. to enable individuals to develop their capabilities for effective participation in the workforce, for constructive contribution to society and for personal growth and fulfillment;2. to advance knowledge and understanding;
3. aid the application of knowledge andunderstanding for the benefit of theeconomy and the society;4. enable individuals to adapt and learn,consistent with the needs of anadaptable knowledge-based economyat the local, regional and national levels;5. contribute to democratic civilizedsociety.
•Australian universities are autonomousself-accredited institutions establishedby Federal, State or Territory legislation.• Academic year in Australia beginswith the undergraduate level. To beadmitted, a Senior SecondaryCertificate of Education is required.The main stage of the universityeducation leads to a bachelorsdegree
•Undergraduate studies last between three, (Arts, Science, Commerce) four years (Education, Engineering) five years, (Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Architecture) and six years(Medicine and Surgery) full time. Arts and Science usually offer either abachelors degree (Pass) obtained in four years. An honours degree is normally required for university levelsecond stage: postgraduate studies.
•A graduate with a bachelors degreecan proceed to a one-year to two-year post graduate course leading toa postgraduate diploma. A studentwho has qualified for a bachelorsdegree (Honours) may proceed to amasters degree. This degree may beobtained after one year (Pass Degree)or two years (Honours degree) of fulltime study.
•A student who has qualified for a bachelors degree (honours) may proceed to study for doctorate usually Ph.D. , higher doctorate inscience (DSsc) or Humanities (DLitt)upon submission of published work are awarded the degrees.
•The most populous country of theworld is China. With over 200 millionstudents attending public schoolstaught by over 9 million teachers in theelementary, junior, and senior highschools, it is the largest educationalsystem of the world (Wang, 1996;Nanjundiah, 1996).•The course syllabi are written byscientists and professors hired by theNational Educational Commission.
•The subject matter and instructional contentsare uniform for all. The first six years of schoolmake up the primary grades which is devoted todevelopment of cognitive skills, and this isfollowed by another six years of high schools.•Class size ranged from 40 to 60 students and thestudents have to cover all topics in order to passnational examinations. Students wishing toattend university must pass one of the twoversions of the National University EntranceExamination. The quality and reputation of theschool will depend on the number of studentspassing the examination (Changbin, 1995;Kwang, 2000)
•Education, one of the fundamentalChinese traditions entered to a new era ofdeep transformation after 1949. Educationwas used as a vital tool for centralizationand unification of the country. The neweducational system include:1. six years of primary education2. Three years of junior middleschool, three years of senior middle school3. Six years of university4. Varieties of technical and vocationschools.
•The Japanese education system is highlycentralized and is administered by theMombusho or Ministry of Education. Theschool system from kindergarten throughuniversity serves about million students,with about ten percent going to theuniversity.•About one third go to the privateschools and the rest are enrolled in thepublic of national school system (Abner,2002)
•The Japanese educational system issometimes seen as a model of howoperate schools. The system gives amental picture of obedient, quiet schoolchildren sitting on their desks, listening tothe teacher and working hard to passvarious entrance examinations.•In 2005, a book Japan in the 21stCentury: Environment, Economy andSociety says:
" Japans educational system produces studentswho perform for better on internationalexaminations than Americans do, and Japanesestudents are indisputably among the best in theworld in solving mathematicalequations...Youngsters are well behaved, enviedaround and law abiding; Japans low crime ratesare well known and widely envied around theworld. But what is even more striking than thelack of crime is the overwhelming civility; graffitiand vandalism are rare and schools sports teamsnot only bow to each other before the game butrush over the opposing teams stand after thegame to pay their respect."
a. Basic Education Structure of Japanese Educational System• The Japanese educational system isdivided into five basic levels:kindergarten, elementary school (sixyears) lowers secondary school (threeyears) upper secondary (three years)and university (usually around fouryears).
•There are also preschool (yochien) withmainly female teachers. These are notofficial part of the educational system.Prefectural boards license teachers,appoints teachers to public elementaryand secondary schools and also licensepreschools in their area.•In Japan, education is free andcompulsory for children 6 to 15 years.Classes are large and teaching methods isusually lecture. Japanese students spend243 days in a year in school. The schoolcalendar is year-round with some breaksbetween sessions.
•Standard curriculum includes Japaneselanguage, social studies, math andscience along with art, music, homeeconomics, physical education, and themost emphasis being given to learning theJapanese language.•Lower secondary schools cover gradeseven, eight and nine. Men compose two-thirds of the teachers in this level. Classsize average 38 and the periods are fiftyminutes long.
•Upper secondary schools offeracademic, technical and vocationalprograms. The first year coursesincluded Japanese language, English,Science and Math. Vocational courseincludes information processing,navigation, fish farming, ceramics andbusiness English. The upper secondaryschools are ranked based on theirsuccess in placing graduating studentsinto prestigious universities.
b. Higher Education•Junior colleges by women who want topursue courses stress home economics,nursing, teaching, humanities and socialscience.•There are various universities thatstudents can attend in Japan. Privateinstitutions make up 80% of universityenrollments although the public schoolshave the most prestige.
•To get into the universities (there aremore than 500) the student must taketwo exams; the first one is a nationalachievement test and the second oneis given by the university itself. Thecompetition is quite fierce and somestudents who fail the test will takeanother year to study and prepare totake the test again. These students arecalled ronin, which meant samurai.
•Sixty percent of the universitieshave graduate schools, but onlyseven percent of universitygraduate gets Masters degrees.At the doctorate level, studentsenroll in medical programs andthe humanities.
•Japanese education relies uponexaminations to determine which schoolsthe student will go to next, resulting in apush by students and parents (usuallymothers) for their children to study veryhard for the test so that he or she can getinto the best schools. The entireeducational system seems to be built on aprinciple that if you do well in exams, youwill get into good schools or universitiesand automatically into a good life-timejob.
In South Africa, the Constitution guaranteesequal access to basic education. Theidentified values and principles to SouthAfrican education include equity and redress,access to basic education opportunities forlifelong learning, quality, in terms of providinglearners with learning opportunities ofacceptable standards, efficiency,democratic participation, sustainability ofdevelopment and relevance of education.The Ministry of Education in May 1994 wastasked to deal with education and training atthe national level.
a. Structure and organization of the educational system in basic education•Formal education in South Africa iscategorized into sectors or levels. Thesesectors are closely linked to particularlevels: namely, public ordinary schooleducation, independent schooleducation, special schooleducation, technical collegeeducation, teacher training anduniversity training.
•A public school may be an ordinary publicschool or a public school for learners withspecial educational needs. The levels are pre-primary, primary, secondary and highereducation.•Compulsory General Education and Training(GET) covers the reception year, Grades R toGrades IX. The General Education and Trainingcorresponds to Level 1 of the NationalQualification Framework (NQF) and is dividedinto three phases: foundation (Grades R-III)intermediate (Grades-VI) and senior (Grades VII-IX). As a rule, children start primary education isdivided into junior primary (Grades I-III) andsenior primary (Grades IV-VI).
•Grades VII-IX is the last stage ofcompulsory education and will lead toGeneral Education and TrainingCertificate. Further Education andTraining (FET) or senior secondaryeducation (Grades X-XII) is notcompulsory. At the end of Grade XII,students sit a public examination leadingto senior Certificate. Technical secondaryeducation which generally lasts for threeyears are offered in technical centers,high schools and vocational schools.
•The eight learning areas that form thebasis of all basic education up to theFurther Education Training(FET) Certificateare:* Language, Literacy andCommunication* Mathematical Literacy, mathematicsand Mathematical Science* Natural Science* Technology* Human and Social Science* Economics and Management Science* Arts and Culture* Life Orientation
b. Higher Educational System Tertiary and higher education correspondto Level 5-8 of the National QualificationFramework (NQF) which is used moreadvanced than the Senior Certificate.Institutions of higher education includecolleges, technikons and universities. Mostcolleges of education offer a three-yearprogramme leading to the Diploma inEducation (four year for higher diplomas).Nursing colleges and hospital schools ofnursing offer four-year course leading to adiploma.
Agricultural colleges offer one-yearcertificate, two-year higher certificate andthree –year diploma courses. Technikonsalso offer bachelor‟s (four-year course)masters and doctoral degrees (magistertechnologiae) usually require a minimum ofone year of study, the doctorates(Laureatus in Technology/DoctorTechnologiae) at least two years. Anhonours degree requires one additionalyear of study. A master‟s degree isobtained after one or two year of studyand the minimum time to complete adoctorate is two years.
•One school year consists of forty-oneweek (196 school days) which is dividedinto four terms.•Other relevant sectors of theeducational structure include specialeducation, private education orindependent schools, adult and non-formal education and HIV/AIDSeducation.
•In England, education is compulsory forchildren ages 5-16.•Most children attend primary schoolsuntil they are eleven and the transfer tosecondary schools. In the primary schoolthe subjects are taught by the sameteacher for a year before moving on tothe next teacher and next grade levelon the next year.(Sadker,2002)
•The National Curriculum is defined as theminimum educational requirement forcompulsory school age, 5 to 16 years. It ismandatory for all state schools to provide abalanced broadly based curriculum whichpromotes spiritual, moral, cultural, mentaland physical development, prepares themfor opportunities, responsibilities andexperiences of adult life. It includes religiouseducation and for secondary students sexand career education. Almost all theschools whether private or state choose tofollow the national curriculum.
a. Basic education•The national curriculum core subjectsinclude English, Mathematics, and Science.Each key level has definite emphasis thatgradually becomes more advanced as thelevel progresses.•Foundation Stage- this is included in thenational curriculum which covers childrenaged 3-5 years, but does not have a strongmandate as to what needs to happenduring these years of schooling as it is notyet mandatory.
•Key Stage One- it includes children aged 5-7years and year groups grades 1-2. It mandatescore subjects including English, Mathematics,and Science and non-core foundation subjectsas design/technology, history, art/design, musicand physical education. Other statutory areasare religious education, the format of which isdecided by local education authorities (LEA‟S) orby the faith in which the school was founded.•Key Stage Two- it includes children aged 7-11and year groups 3-6. It mandates the same coreand non-core foundation subjects, with moreemphasis on more difficult topics and theaddition of sex education to additional statutoryareas which is left up to the policy of schoolgovernors (school board).
•Key Stage Three- it includes children aged 11-14years and year groups 7-9. It mandates thesame basics in Key Stages One and Two, butadds Foreign Language, and Information/Communication Technology to the mix whileadding appropriate difficulty to the coresubjects.•Key Stage Four- it includes those aged 14-16and year groups 10-11. It covers the statutoryprogram that must be taught to all students.Most schools include in their core curriculumcourses that lead to qualifications in each of thefive subject areas which are English, Math,Science, Information and CommunicationTechnology (ICT), and Physical education.
•Post 16 Education- it is not mandatory in England. Studentscan either continue education or enter working world. Somesecondary schools go beyond the 11-16 mandates to 11-18and the student may stay there. If the high school does notoffer these „Sixth Form‟ extra years, the student may go to a“Further Education College” (FEC). The following certificatesor diploma can be awarded in the Post 16 Education.General Certificate of Education (GCE), a level comprisingadvanced subsidiary (AS) and A2, each of these usuallycontaining three assessed units.Vocational Certificate of Education (VCE) --- alevel, dealing with the more applied aspects of the subject;they are available in three, six, and twelve unit sizes; theyreplaced the advancedGeneral National Vocational Qualifications (GNVQs).Foundation and Intermediate GNVQ are widely used 16-19.Key skills qualifications at levels 1-4 of the NationalQualifications framework.
b. Higher Education•In 1992, the binary divide in the higher educationsystem was abolished. Former polytechnicsbecame universities enabling them to award theirown degrees. Divisions continue to label pre-1992universities as the “old” universities and the formerpolytechnics as the “new” universities. Universitiesare not only concerned with the undergraduateand postgraduate teaching. Higher educationsystem in the UK needs to include reference to theOpen University as a major provider of theundergraduate and postgraduate degrees foradults. The Open University pioneered the way foropening access by offering greater flexibility foradult learners through distance learning programs.
•Students studying at a university for their firstdegree are called “undergraduates”. Once astudent has graduated, he/she becomes a“graduate” of the university. Ordinary degreeprogrammes in the UK universities are usually 3-year courses. Undergraduates completing theseprogrammes successfully are awarded either aBachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degrees are not permitted to place B.A. orB.Sc after their names.•Honours degree programmes are usually four-year courses. The degree title is extended toB.A. (Hons.) and B.Sc. (Hons.), respectively.
•Masters degree is usually achieved aftertwo more years study following anOrdinary or an Honour degree. Thestudents are awarded M.A. or M.Sc.•A doctorate is normally awarded afterseveral years (three years full time) ofresearch under the direction of amember of a department of a possessionof a doctorate and the presentation of adoctoral dissertation or thesis.
EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMOF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The levels of education in the U.S. aresimilar to those in other countries. There arepublic and private colleges, schools anduniversities in the United States. The publicschools are funded, in part, by acity, and/or state, and or state pay lesstuition because some tax money is used tosubsidize the tuition. Non U.S. residentswould pay more, since they would not beresidents of the city or state where thecollege or university is located. Privatecolleges and universities are supportedprimarily by tuition and private contributions.All students must pay the same tuition nomatter where they come from.
a. Structure and Organization of Basic EducationPre-primary education- types of schoolproviding this education arekindergartens, nursery schools, preschoolprogrammes, and child/day care centers.Age level is 4-6 years old and the durationis 2 years.Primary education- elementary school-there is varied levels of schooling in theprimary education.
•Grades 1-4- children are from ages 6 to10.•Transition to middle school•Grades 1 to 5- children are from ages 6to 11•Transition to middle school•Grades 1-6- children are from ages 6 to12•Transition to junior high school•Grades 1-7- children ages 6 to 14•Transitions to junior high school
Middle school education- Grades 4-6,5-7, or 6-8.•Age level is from 10-14•Length of the program is 3 years.
Secondary education- high school- Grades 7-12 or 8-12•Ages 12-18 years old•High school diploma is awarded•2 levels Junior high school Grades 7-8, 7-9, or 8-9•Ages 12-14 years old Senior high school Grades 9-12, or 10-12 Ages 14-18 years old.Duration of compulsory education is fromentry of 6 years old to exit of 18 years old.
b. Higher EducationHigher education in the U.S. begins at thepost secondary education. It is diverseand autonomous community of publiclyand privately supported institutions.Current data states that there are some2,819 institutions offering Bachelor‟s orhigher degrees and 4,927 institutionsoffering shorter non degrees of two yearsduration. These higher educationinstitutions are classified according to thefollowing categories:
Research universities (I and II) -Comprehensive doctorate grantinginstitutions that have extensivetheoretical and applied research in awide variety of programs.Doctorate – granting universities (Iand II) – Universities offeringcomprehensive studies but awardsDoctorate in limited fields or areas.
Master‟s (Comprehensive) universitiesand colleges (I and II) – Institutionsoffering academic and professionalprogrammes at the Bachelor‟s andMaster‟s levels but do not awardresearch doctorate.Baccalaureate (Liberal Arts) Colleges(I and II)- Institutions offering Bachelor‟sdegrees but not higher.
Associate of Arts colleges- they offeracademic and professional or occupationalstudies at the Associate Degree level includingpublic community colleges and public andprivate junior colleges.Professional school and the other specializedinstitutions- institutions that offer only one or fewrelated courses in the professional or academicwith degree levels from associate to researchdoctorates.Postsecondary vocational and technicalschools- institutions offering short non-degreetraining programs of less than two yearsduration, leading to certificates or diplomas inoccupational specialties.
Post secondary education- there is no real agecategories for post secondary education.Generally, American students starts collegeright after completing high school (About 60%of all students who graduate from high schoolenter college at some point in their life), Juniorand technical colleges are designed to be 4-year programs at the undergraduate level. Inreality, the average American takes over 6years to finish a four year degree. The reason isthat more than 50% of college freshmen do notknow what major or specialization they wish tostudy. Also many students work to pay forcollege expenses. Thus, they may take fewerclasses in order to work.
Vocational and technical schoolsoperate at either the high school orjunior college levels. They teach skillssuch as secretarial, auto-mechanics, photography, andnursing.
College and University education- a collegeusually has a Bachelor‟s (4 year) program. Auniversity may be composed of several colleges(for example, the college of medicine and thecollege of engineering). Universities often havegraduate programs as well. For most purposes, aBachelor‟s degree from a college is equivalentto a Bachelor‟s degree from a University, so thatthe two words “college” and “university” meanthe same thing to most Americans.Generally, the value of a degree is a reflectionof how society views the particular college oruniversity. From a Bachelor‟s degree a studentcan proceed to a graduate program formaster‟s degree or doctorate degree. For non-residents of the U.S., a TOEFEL is required and aGraduate Record Examination or GRE is a must.
Classes begin in September and end in June of every year. The language of instruction is English.