(Closed) NWR Spinoff: Education Systems in your country

posted 4 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
9142 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

I live in the US and I would characterize public school as better than nothing.  Our public school system is really set up to educate people on how to bascially function in society.  It holds back intelligent students who cannot attend private school solely because their parents cannot afford to send them.  It discourages students that don’t meet the defined “average” based on test scores; worse, it does not provide training for those students to ensure they too become functional members of society.

There needs to be a better way to separate students into training groups where they will receive all of the support and education they need to function best in society.  Funnel students that test poorly into technical programs where they can learn to work with machinery or at a trade (these programs deserve more respect).  Funnel the higher performing students into socratic programs to prepare them for college and academia.  Encourage a gap year much like the UK to allow students the chance to try out life before commiting themselves to a career.

The fundamental problem with US public schools is the erroneous idea that all students are equal learners.  It’s completely wrong and it does a disservice to any student that exceeds the standard as well as any student below the standard.

Post # 4
2894 posts
Sugar bee

Québec is different than the rest of Canada, at least when it comes to high school/college.

Pre-school (not mandatory) : 4 years old.

Kindergarten (is it mandatory now ? I don’t even know) : 5 years old.

Elementary school (6 grades ; ages 6 to 12).

High school / Secondary School (5 grades. We call them Secondary I, II, III, IV and V; ages 13 to 17)

CÉGEP (divided in 2 types of programs : those who are ”technical” and give you a job as a ”technician in …” after 3 years, and those who are ”pre-university” classes (2 years), the diploma by itself isn’t really worth a lot because it’s not aimed to give you a job, it’s aimed to prepare you for your bachelor’s degree).

University, divided in 3 cycles : bachelor’s degree (3 to 4 years), master’s degree (2 years) and doctorate (4 years +). There are variations to these, for example in psychology or med. school, some of these levels are combined. But usually, the standard programs work like this.

There are private and public schools up until university. However, since 1998, there has been a law in Québec which reforms the whole school system and even the private schools have to get rid of their religious classes and adapt their program to meet the Ministry of Education’s program. If they want to offer religious classes, it has to be extra-curricular (ex.: on week-ends or after school). The religious classes have been replaced with Ethics and religious culture program, which teaches about other religions as well. 

I don’t think there are private universities in the Province of Québec ? Correct me if I’m wrong.

I’m not sure about homeschooling. The law requires for kids to attend school from age 6 until age 16. There are exceptions to these, but you need to obtain an exemption from the School Board, and I believe it must be more difficult to obtain it to homeschool a child who isn’t sick or doesn’t have a handicap. You have to prove the education he receives is equivalent to the school’s, and there are government exams that are mandaroty to succeed in Secondary III, IV and V. 

There are also ”alternative schools” ; the kid makes his own schedule, as long as the educational expectations are met. It’s a much more relaxed environment that’s not aimed toward ‘performance’, but personal accomplishment and autonomy rather than ‘discipline’. I don’t know anyone who has been to this kind of school, though. 

Post # 5
10572 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

I can’t comment for the whole country, and things have changed over time too.

The main school boards are public and Catholic.  There are some others, and for a while there was an area in the province without a public board.  I went to a separate protestant school at the time, but I think everywhere has a public board now.

Preschool isn’t public as far as I know.  I did 2 years, so did most kids although there were the few with Jan/Feb birthdays who had the choice when to start Kindergarten, so some of them just did one.

Elementary was K-6.  When I moved, the school (probably the whole board) had ESC – early schooling in childhood or something like that instead.  It was the same thing.

7-9 was junior high.

10-12 was high school.

To simplify the college/university difference, colleges offer diplomas and universities offer degrees.  Universities usually have larger class sizes and require high grades.

We don’t use the terms freshman/jr/sr, etc.  Up to high school you just say I’m in grade x.  In university first years are frosh, although it’s not a common term outside of frosh week.  Otherwise people just say 1st yr, 2nd yr, etc.

For K-12 education, few people go to a private school.  Public schools/Catholic schools are pretty good.  They have options from ESL, work credit programs, IB, AP, LD programs, etc.  There are also speciality schools like a naional sports school, flex schools, science schools and art schools.

Post # 6
168 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014


Starts with nursery/playgroup, not mandatory, no experience of it since I was in it myself but babies can be in nurseries and it’s usually up until the age of 4 or 5 depending on DOB. From what I’ve heard, nursery costs a ridiculous amount of money, but if Scotland becomes independent the SNP plan to introduce free childcare for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.

Primary school, again starts at 4 or 5 depending on DOB, eg I was born in January and started at 4, my sister was born the following July and was 5 when she started. This lasts for 7 years though P1 to P7.

Secondary school, age 11/12, lasts for 6 years, S1 to S6. Three years of exams, S4 is Standard Grade, then in 5th year (S5) you do Highers, which can get you into uni, then in 6th year you can do more Highers or Advanced Highers. The system is changing this year though, although I’m not familiar with how it’s going to work.

Then after that there’s university, although not everyone chooses to go. Courses here last 4 years, but after 3 years you can get the degree without the honours. Some universities are well known for certain areas, eg sport and computers. Some do take gap years but others (myself included) went straight to university after finishing school. Some also take a gap year after finishing uni. It’s not so much encouraged as just being an option.

There are fee paying schools, boarding schools, religious schools etc and I know someone who was taught at home until S4 I think.

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