Letter to President Barack Obama
I am privileged His Excellency to write you this letter and share my views and opinions regarding our education system and the impending far-reaching reforms of and to this sector. In renewing the education system in our country Mr. President, I suggest that you take into consideration in your policy the following lessons that can improve this process. These lessons are as follows from various countries.
The Japanese education system was initially based on the European more especially the French system or model in regard to its suitability and standards. In Japan there are competitive entrance exams for all levels, that is elementary school level, junior and senior high school, colleges and universities. These exams prepare students for the next level of education. In the USA, it may be the same but state governments should be given autonomy to set own standards but minimum standards be determined by the central government in Washington and applying to all states. In Japan, the only challenge is the very low number of female students’ enrolment in universities and therefore priority in the reforms should cater for this challenge to enable more female students enroll in various universities in the country.
The Korean education system has gone under many processes and challenges to present times. Lack of finances and enough resources paralyzed the entire system of education as it was only compulsory to go to school up to the sixth grade. Therefore resources should be availed to allow students to attain the highest level of education. In South Korea, the government took over the management of education through the ministry of education and the ministry was responsible by developing the curriculum, allocation of resources, school and teacher certification and making decisions on various issues affecting education. Many resources have been invested in education and that is why even the South Korean economy has magnificently grown.
In china it is compulsory for children to acquire 9 years of basic education. This basic education in china includes pre-school, primary and secondary education and therefore children start going to school aged three years. In china there are thousands of vocational institutions to absorb students who opt not to join secondary schools or universities. These students are trained as farmers and skilled workers in various fields thereby reducing unemployment for millions of Chinese.
Education is compulsory for children aged between five and fifteen years in Australia. The education system of Australia is wide open for all and sundry that is including citizens and foreigners. It has also taken into consideration the disadvantaged students all over the country by providing them the necessary facilities. Many Australians have been encouraged just to continue studying regardless of age, race or status. All public schools are free apart from the private schools where a fee is paid. The government has controlled education system through states but funds them. The curriculums differ from state to state but what is taught is the same throughout the country.
This country has tried to improve their education system by creating a new curriculum and improved teaching. They have also come up with new books but the idea has been politicized because of the crisis between them and Israel. Therefore, the politicization of education has been very detrimental to the entire Palestine. However, schools have been established to reduce children casualties during their confrontations. Internal squabbling and corruption have hindered the growth of education in Palestine.
In Israel education is free and compulsory from the age of five to sixteen. It is still free but not compulsory from the age of sixteen onwards. Tuition fee is not charged books and activities are charged or paid by the students. Religious schools are supported by the state and they majorly emphasize religious issues and studies unlike other colleges. The education system in Israel is well organized and divided into various levels that are; pre-unit and kindergarten, primary school, junior high school, senior high school, Gifted students, special education, supplementary and informal education and lastly higher education. The system has worked marvelously in Israel and has produced smart professionals in every field.
India’s education system fascinates the world every passing year as illiteracy increases and yet continues to produce wonderful graduates in the world. The Indian government has realized the power of educating her citizenry and has recommended pumping more and more resources to the education system for sustainability of her economy. India has made it compulsory for children between six and fourteen to go to school. These are eight years in primary school, two years in secondary, 2 years senior secondary and university education takes three to five years to graduate. Research in university is highly regarded in India.
The education sector in France is the most highly organized and recognized in the world. Public schools offer education in France with a few cases of private schools. The Ministry of National Education oversees all education activities in France. Mandatory age to start schooling in France is six year. Secondary Diploma in France is equivalent to SAT in our country. Higher education is funded by the government and students are required to pay very little fees. Poor people get scholarships easily in France which enables them to complete their studies.
The UK education system stipulates that children aged five are eligible to start schooling until the age of sixteen. UK has divided its education system into four sections namely; primary education, secondary education, further education and higher education. The age bracket between five and sixteen culminates for key stages in the system. Students who wish to join university must successfully complete further education. Many schools in the UK are public schools and are funded by the government and more than 90% students attend them. Entry exams to each level are important and must be passed before moving on to the next level. Three years are for undergraduate degree while professional courses like law, medicine and teaching take five years.
Education in Russia is divided into two, that is, Basic Education and Higher Education. This system is and has been magnificent and of high quality as Russia is one of the countries with lowest illiteracy levels in the world. Basic education which takes nine years is compulsory. Students are free to choose professional courses as they join secondary schools. Higher education is divided into two categories, that is, Basic Higher Education which takes four years and equivalent to B.Sc. degree in Western Europe or USA and Postgraduate Higher Education which takes five to six years.
Therefore, Mr. President I urge all concerned people and other leaders in the reform to consider successes and failures in these countries so as give the light for a better education system in this country as (Mazarek and Winzer 121) notes that, “any education programs in a country should be well tailored or designed to meet teachers and students international perspectives”. Moreover, views from teachers and students should be taken into consideration, (Mills 97) “It will be a wonderful experience for both students and teachers if students participate in educational debates”.
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