“School in the future which you like to attend”

education in Great Britain, USA and Poland - comparison

Education seems to be the most important investment nowadays. It is true that without the good education we may have some problems in finding a job. If you are looking for a job, you probably know that getting a well-paid job isn't easy. However, people who have better qualifications and are well-educated have greater chances to find a job. Today one of the most important skills required in every post are computing and knowledge of foreign languages. Nowadays very young children start to learn foreign languages and using of computer.

British children start their education at the age of five. Before the primary school they often attend a nursery schools or a kind of nursery classes, which is somehow attached to the primary schools. There are a lot of parents who send their children to the private nursery schools or private kindergartens, which are high-paid. Some English and Welsh primary schools introduced a special kind of an admission policy and they allow the children under the age of five to attend so called a reception class. At the age of seven start to attend to a junior school. They stay there until the age of eleven (twelve in Scotland). A lot of children attend the comprehensive schools. There they develop their skills and abilities. Every secondary school offers the great variety of subjects and every pupil may find something interesting. Pupils attend the secondary school until the age of sixteen or eighteen.

In 1988 the National Curriculum was introduced for the first time in England. The National Curriculum defines which subjects pupils are supposed to learn and when they should be checked by some tests. So the pupils should know which subjects are obligatory. It may also reduce their stress.

There are also some kinds of secondary schools. The grammar schools provide some kind of academic education. Pupils attend there until the age of eighteen. They may attend the grammar schools after the entrance exam of their own abilities. In grammar schools there are taught about 4 % of pupils of secondary education.

Few children attend the secondary modern schools (about 4 %). These kinds of schools provide a general education or a technical one. They pupils are the children between the age of eleven and sixteen years old. City Technology Colleges (CTCs) gives pupils a secondary education, which is slanted to the technological and business fields. Moreover, there are also free schools, which are sponsored by the Government. There are about fifteen such schools in Wales and England.

Pupils at the age of fourteen and sixteen study to reach their GCSE exams (it means General Certificate of Secondary Education). Pupils are supposed to take English, math, foreign language and science to get GCSE. Moreover, they have to learn physical education, religious and sex education. The exams of these subjects aren't obligatory.

When they reach sixteen, pupils may leave the school. If pupils decide to stay and learn, they have to take an A (Advanced) levels, AS (Advanced Supplementary) levels or GNVQs (Greater National Vocational Qualifications).

Pupils who take an A level have to study traditional subjects: French, history and physics. They have to pass it if they want to study at university.

The specialist schools, which there are in England, teach pupils a lot of subjects with an emphasis on foreign languages, technology, arts and sports. In England there are about 300 specialist schools. They are free of charge and any of secondary schools can apply for bring called a specialist school. GNVQs mean the vocational qualifications. Pupils often decide to take the GNVQ in such subjects as Leisure and Tourism, Business Manufacturing and Art with Design. One GNVQ (of course at the advanced level) seems to be equal to two A levels.

When the young people graduate they have to make an important decision. Some of them don't afford to study at university, so they have to go to work or to college. However, many things depend on their personal decision. Some international students who go to the States wonder how it is happened that so many American classmates are able to reach such a high educational level. It is said that American educational system may be quite confusing. Here is the short overview.

At first, the country has its own history and national values. There aren't any national educational system and national curriculum. What is more, the federal government doesn't support the schools.

Every of the fifty states has state's Department of Education, which is responsible of setting the guidelines for every school. Public colleges and universities receive funding from student tuition and the state in which they are located. Moreover, every state has the legislature, which decides about the amount of money spending on the schools.

Most of American schools are possessed by local district. Every school district is ruled by the school board, which is a kind of small committee, consisted of people elected in local election. This board creates the general policies for each school district. The education is free between the first and twelfth classes.

In general, the school districts divided schools into such types of school as elementary schools, middle or junior high schools and high schools. The elementary schools also teach the pupils in kindergarten. Most of children started the kindergarten at the age of five.

It depends on the district, but after the elementary schools pupils go to middle school and to junior high school. The middle school contains classes form sixth to eight. The junior school includes the classes form seventh and ninth. After graduation pupils attend to high school. The high school includes classes form ninth to eleventh or form tenth to twelfth.

High school offers a great variety of courses. Every student is supposed to take such subjects as English, science, math or social studies. Some of them may require taking some foreign languages or physical education. Each course may take a semester or two.

In States education is obligatory for everyone until the age of sixteen or seventeen. The students graduate the high school after passing exams of required classes. Grades the students are given to students for every passed subject are as follows: A=Excellent, B=Above Average, C=Average, D=Below Average, F=Failure. The one who failed the exam is supposed to take the course again. Almost three quarters of American students who finish high schools decide to study. In 1970 almost half of them started the studies.

The admission policy is different for every collage or university. However, most of students are allowed to study on the basis of their results achieved in the high school, the number of courses taken during the education in high school and the entrance exam which is consisted of the written essay and the personal interview.

Then the admission of college and university decide whether a given students is ready to take the courses in the university and whether the student is well-prepared. Moreover, the student's average points received in the high school (GPA) is considered. The GPA is the figure, which represents the whole student's grades. Every letter is assigned the point's number: A=4 points, B=3, C=2, D=1 whereas F= 0 points.

The GPA is the amount gets form adding every point earned during the education in high school and divided by the number of course taken. For example, the GPA of 3.0 stands for a "B" average of the whole number of courses taken by a student.

Many universities and colleges decide to set a minimum amount of score that every student has to achieve to be allowed to study. The SAT sands for Scholastic Aptitude Test, which is a set amount of examinations taken in the high school by students. Every college and university is free to decide the minimum SAT number, which will be accepted.

Colleges or universities often need the essay written by applicants. However, the length of essay and its content is defined by the admission office. Almost every applicant should go through the personal interview. There are several kinds of university's degrees: Associate's (completes a given program in a special field), Bachelor's (given after the completion of the undergraduate program), Master's (the first graduated degree) and Doctorate (the second graduated degree and it seems to be the final degree).

At college or university most of courses take a semester. Every course is credited by a given number of points. Credit points are the numbers of courses finished during the studies. Every course gives about 3 or 4 points. However, special courses may be credited with 1, 2 or even 5 points. Every degree program requires students to finish the minimum amount of points. To receive the Bachelor's degree in the States you don't need to write the final thesis. The final thesis is needed when you finish the Master's studies and every Doctorate program.

The selection for very graduate program is very similar to the selection to every undergraduate program. The admissions office doesn't examine the high school courses and GPA. The commission checks the undergraduate courses and GPA. Almost every Master' program requires each student to receive the minimum points of the GRE. Moreover, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is very similar to SAT.

In Doctorate program students are continuing the courses until they manage to receive enough points and pass every exam. When students pass the examinations, they may write the final thesis.

The degree requirements are very complex and may be difficult. So every student must fulfill the requirements of the university and the advisor.

In Poland before the reform in 1999 the primary school lasted for eight years and it let to the Certificate of Completion of Primary School Education. The secondary education, on the other hand, was provided in lyceum, which lasts four years. The secondary vocational education was offered by various schools such as the four-year lyceum, technical lyceum and the five-year technical school. After the graduation the pupils receive the Maturity Certificate and the Certificate of Completion of Education of a given type secondary school. There were also some basic vocational schools and their pupils received the Certificate of Completion of Education.

After the reform introduced in 1999, the educational system is consisted of 6-year primary school, 3-year gymnasium, 3-year general lyceums or vocational secondary school. Pupils may choose among 3-year education in a specialized lyceum or 4-year education in a technical school. What is more, there is also 2 or 3-year basic vocational school and their graduates obtain the Certificate of Completion of Education of Basic Vocational School. The secondary schools' certificates were issued until the year of 2005. During the transition period, both types of schools will coexist: the former ones and the new schools. The credential which allows to study at collage or university is the Maturity Certificate. It is received after the graduation of a secondary school and passing the Matura examination. The school's certificate which doesn't allow to study at university is the certificate of graduation of the basic vocational school. The pupils who finish the vocational basic school may complete the education in the complementary secondary schools such as the complementary lyceum or the complementary technical school. After graduation the education in such a school, they may pass the Matura exam and then go to a university.

In my essay I have described educational systems in Great Britain, USA and Poland. It’s hard to find an answer for a question which of them is the best and should exist in future. Every has it’s pluses and minuses. In my opinion, educational system we had in Poland before the reform in 1999 was the optimum; Primary School least eight years, so that children did not feel like a stranger every time they change school. The four-year lyceum ensures appropriate preparation for the mature exam. Changes that came later have made our educational system chaotic. What about UK and USA? Well, I have never been there so it’s hard for me to say if I would like to attend that type of school or not. In my present point of view, the resolutions placed there are unfamiliar, but may work in future. Despite that, school in future is – in my opinion school of past; we had very good system in Poland year ago, but we have ruined that. Why not take this back?