different education systems around the world

Last Updated on December 15, 2022 by

I think it is worthwhile for students to take the time to read the article carefully as it will give them a better understanding of the different education systems around the world.

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21st-century learning has gone global. Today’s youth will be competing tomorrow with students all over the world as it continues to shrink. What schools produce today will affect the country’s economy tomorrow. So it is not just important but also a necessity that we give importance to education reforms in our country. Our curriculum standards need to stand up to other emerging countries on a global platform. Like Calvin asks, are we doing enough to prepare our students to effectively compete in a tough, global economy and be prepared for the 21st century.

There are many research findings on the education systems around the world that forces us to think about how we impart education to our students. The few countries that dominate conversations of good education systems are Finland, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Let’s take a deep dive into the education systems of these countries and understand what is working in their favor.

South Korea: The main focus of their system is primary education. They make a good start with students, which carries them through the rest of their educational life. The students are known to go to school seven days a week. South Korea spends 8% of its GDP on education as compared to a 6% average of other OECD participating countries. Culturally there is high emphasis placed on education. Parents are very involved and are willing to spend a lot of money to get their child the education they need. Teachers have to be highly qualified and are also paid good salaries. It is one of the coveted career choices in South Korea.

Japan/Singapore/Hong Kong: All three systems have a technology-based education structure. They are also similar to South Korea in the fact that their main focus is also primary education and they spend a good percentage of their GDP on education. The primary, secondary and higher education levels are exemplary in their approach and work. Student retention is a common practice. The education system has moved instruction further away from the rote memorization and repetitive tasks on which it had originally focused to deeper conceptual understanding and problem-based learning. The Singapore’s ministry of education’s recent policy of ‘Teach less, learn more’ is highly popular and has catapulted its education system onto the top rungs in the world.

Finland: Although a top runner in the past, it is losing ground to its Asian counterparts. Regardless, Finland still figures in the top 10 performing countries in the world. School does not begin for children until they are 7 years old. There is no homework and no standardized testing until they reach high school. They have shorter school days. All schools follow a national curriculum. Students and teachers spend less time in schools in comparison to their American counterparts. Finland also provides three years of maternity leave, subsidized daycare and pre-school for 5-7 year olds where the emphasis is on playing and socializing.

Canada: In the last few years, Canada has been a surprise entry in the top 10 education systems surprising many. Their system is very simple. They focus on three main parts: literacy, math and high school graduation. With a clear vision, they have created a transparent system in collaboration with administrators, teachers and the union to create a curriculum and methodology that is successful. The system encourages teamwork, quality education, continued teacher training,  transparent results and a culture of sharing best practices. The teacher morale is also high because their pay is acceptable, working conditions are favorable, facilities are good and there are all kinds of opportunities for teachers to improve their practice. Most importantly, perhaps, there is discretion for teachers to make their own judgments.

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