Otázka: Systems of education
THE CZECH SYSTEM OF EDUCATION
School attendance in the CZ is compulsory from the age of 6 to 15. Most children go to state schools, but there are also established private and church schools. Education at state schools up to 18 is free of charge,but students at secondary schools must pay for their textbooks. Children don’t wear uniforms.
The school year starts on 1th of September and ends on 30th of June of the following year. The school year is divided into 2 terms. The average number of lessons at a secondary school is about 30 a week. Classes begin at 8 a.m. and there are from 4 to 7 lessons in a row, followed by a lunch break and then afternoon classes sometimes. Afternoon classes end between 4 and 5 at the latest. Breaks between the lessons are from 5 to 20 minutes. Pupils and students are evaluated by marks from 1 to 5. Education in our country includes these stages: pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary school.
Pre-school education is provided by creches for children up to 3 years and kindergartens for children from 3 to 6. At 6 children start to go to primary schools and they stay there until 15. Then they transfer to secondary school. Some pupils transfer to grammar school at the age of 11 after they have passed an entrance examination.
At the age of 15 pupils can choose among a variety of secondary schools:
1. grammar schools-which prepare students for university study
2. special schools-which include technical colleges, specialized in building, chemistry, engineering, business
3. vocational schools-training would-be workers for practical job
Secondary education lasts for 4 years. Grammar and specialized schools are finished with a school-leaving examination which is required for all universities and colleges. This examination is taken in 4 subjects at grammar schools /Czech, a foreign language/Maths and 2 optional subjects: foreign languages, science subjects or humanities. It is held in May and is mostly oral except Czech in which an essay is written about a month before. After the graduates have passed their school-leaving exam they receive the School-Leaving Certificate and they can apply for study at universities and colleges.Graduates are accepted, when they passed an entrance examination. Our oldest university is Charles University in Prague, founded by Charles IV in 1348. Other universities are Masaryk´s University in Brno, Palacký University in Olomouc and Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem.
Undergraduates can study economics, foreign trade, architecture, law, journalism, the humanities, foreign languages, medicine, science, music, art, drama, engineering or computer science at School of Economics or Architecture, Law, Medical or Science Faculty, Faculty of Journalism, Arts, Teacher’s Training College, Art School, College of Agriculture, technical universities or polytechnics. Universities and colleges provide tertiary education which lasts from 4-6 years.
The students can enroll at 3-year courses for Bachelor’s Degree or four and five-year courses for a Master’s Degree. Medicine takes 6 years. It is finished with a state examination and every undergraduate also has to write work a thesis in order to receive a diploma. The diploma is handed over at a graduation ceremony.
-kolej – hall of residence
-stipendium – scholarship
BRITISH SYSTEM OF EDUCATION
3 and 4 year-old children receive nursery education in kindergartens. The children learn basic skills (how to draw, paint, sing, communicate, playing games, basic hygiene).
All children and young people between the ages of 5 and 16 must get full-time education. State schools work from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 3 or 4 pm.
Primary schools-for ages of 5 to 11, divided into infant school /5-7/ and junior school /7-11/ In Infant School the children learn to read and write and the basics of arithmetic. In Junior School they study history, geography, mathematics, science, English and, in some schools, also a foreign language. Physical Education is usually given twice a week.
Secondary schools /comprehensive school, grammar school/ – isfor ages over 11. Subjects taught at schools are given by the national curriculum: English, Mathematics, Science, Technology, History, Geography, Music, Art, PE, foreign language /at age 11-16/ and optional religious education or technical and vocational education.
Children have to take test at the age of 7,11,14, but when they are 16 years old, they have to passed the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE).
The General Certificate of Secondary Education : O-level = ordinary ,A-level = advanced
When the students want study at university, they have to pass the Advanced Level of GCSE at the age of 18. They can pass this exam only from 3 subjects.
Those who do not want to study at universities can be trained in nursing, law, banking, accountancy or in manufacturing or service industry.
About 7% of British children attend independent or private schools. Some of these are boarding schools,which means that the pupils live there and only go home for holidays. Independent schools are very expensive, but the government provides funds for very clever children from poorer families if their parents wish to send them to a private school.
The stages in these schools are different:
Pre-preparatory schools from the age of 5 to 8;
Preparatory schools from the age of 8 to 13;
Public/other independent schools from 13 to 18. The pupils must pass a special exam (Common Entrance Exam) to attend these very exclusive schools.
The most famous public schools are Eton (founded in 1440) – Prince Charles´s son William and Harry studied at Eton, Harrow (1571) and Rugby (1567).
There are 35 universities in England, 8 in Scotland, 2 in Northern Ireland and 4 in Wales. Entrance to
university is not easy; it is very competitive and the results of the GCE A-level exams are very important. A student can apply to up to five different universities. Almost 90% of students get a degree.
The English universities can be divided into 3 groups:
1. Oxford and Cambridge /”Oxbridge”/ -the oldest and most famous, founded in 12 and 13 centuries
2. Redbrick universities-founded in 19 century-London, Durham, Manchester, provide technological training in industrial areas
3. the new universities opened after 1960-Sussex, York, Kent?
The basic qualification for university admission is the GCSE at A level. The courses last usually over 3 to 4 years /5 or 6 in medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences/.
The first degree is either BA or BSc /put after one’s name/. The following degree is MA or MSc /students must work on a thesis at least for one year/.
-BA = Bachelor of Arts, BSc = Bachelor of Science, MA = Master of Arts, MSc = Master of Science
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) granted to students after three years of research work. This is for those who wish to become academics or teach in a university.
The Open University
Founded in 1969 to provide opportunities for working-class students who had left school at the age of 16 and, as adults, wanted to improve their education, it has become very popular. It provides degrees for adults of all ages and no special qualifications are required. Students study at home through special television programs, audio and videocassettes, correspondence tuition and summer schools.
Students usually choose universities that are not near their homes. They can either live on the campus or rent flats with other in the town.
Life is very intensive and students do not usually have time for a job, but they are given a financial grant, which helps to pay fees and maintenance. If the grant is not sufficient they can receive a loan from the government which they must pay back when they start earning money.
If students do not complete their course in time they must leave without a degree.
There are many rules in British schools with punishments that vary depending on the seriousness of the offence. Here is a list of some of the most common offences:
Arriving late at school , Refusing to do homework , Playing truancy (not going to school) ,Cheating during tests and exams (copying) ,Not wearing your uniform ,Wearing jewellery
THE AMERICAN SYSTEM OF EDUCATION
In the U.S.A. there is not a national system of education. All states require young people to attend the school. The age limits are 7 to 16, 6 to 18. Every child gets minimum 13 years of education.
Elementary school-The pupils learn mathematics, language arts /reading, grammar, composition/, science, history, geography, music, PE, computer courses and second language teaching.
Secondary school /high school/ -usually divided into junior /at 11 to14/ and senior high school. They get a high school diploma. Most schools offer English, Mathematics, science, social studies and PE along with foreign language.
The system of higher education consists of following institutions:
1. The University
2. The technical training institution
3. The two year or community college
Any of these may be either public or private. They cost varies and is usually paid by a combination of private savings, income from a part-time job held by the student and low interest loans or grants of money given to students by the federal government. Each American university has its own curriculum. Harvard College /founded in 1636/, Yale /1701/, Princeton…
-Scholastic Aptitude Tests = SAT-Maths and English
-Test of English as a Foreign Language = TOEFL-for foreign applicants