School and Education
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11 – SCHOOL AND EDUCATION I would like to talk about the British, American and Czech school systems. The United KingdomEducation in the UK is compulsory for all children from the age of 5 until they turn 16. At first, pupils visit nursery school at the age of 3-4. At the age of five they start attending primary school, which can be either state-funded or private. Both types of school have to follow a prescribed national curriculum. At the age of seven they go on to junior school and then at 11 they transfer to secondary school. Usually, at the age of 15 the pupils take the GCSE exams (General Certificate of Secondary Education), that consists of eight or nine exams in Maths, English, a foreign language, a Science and humanities subjects. At the age of sixteen, pupils are free to leave school. If they carry on with their education, they study for two more years in an institution called a sixth form college. Usually, they take four subjects in the first year, which ends with an exam. If they pass, they have AS-Levels in these subjects and can go on to study three of them at A-Level (Advanced GCSEs). At the age of eighteen most pupils find jobs or go to university. Most people in the UK have to fund part of their university education. This is similar to the US. Most prestigious universities are Stone universities: Cambridge U, Oxford U, St Andrew´s. Universities which were established during the Victorian Era are called “red brick universities”. There are also a lot of modern universities in the UK. The United StatesElementary school formally starts their compulsory education, and covers five years. Most children go to public schools without charge, or they have a choice of private schools, which they must pay for. Students are graded on a system of A-F; with A being the best, and F meaning fail. In grade six students go to Junior High and in the ninth grade they change to high school. When students are juniors, they take the SAT test (Scholastic Aptitude Test). This four-hour test quizzes students on their language, writing, math and critical thinking skills, among other things. The scores on this national test determine whether you succeed when applying to the university of your choice. The completion of high school is celebrated with a graduation ceremony and prom. According to the student’s SAT results he or she may be accepted into a university. Most prestigious university in the USA according to the latest research is Caltech (Californian Technical University). Other prestigious universities are Harvard U, Yale U, Brown, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) etc. The Czech RepublicBy law, the school-leaving age is 15. For those willing to continue, there are many secondary education alternatives. The traditional secondary vocational schools train young people to be bakers, mechanics, bricklayers or waiters. Another option is secondary school (grammar school) prepares students for university and lasts four years or longer if the students have enrolled earlier from elementary school. All the secondary studies finish with a final school-leaving exam in the fourth year, which comprises mostly of four subjects. In order to study at university, students have to pass demanding entrance exams. Education at universities is free of charge in the Czech Republic. The most popular subjects include humanities, law or medicine studied at Charles university in Prague or Masaryk university in Brno. In conclusion I would like to say that different education systems have also different positives and negatives so it is hard to say which ES is the best one. What I don’t like about the Czech system is the fact, that too many people are able to succeed in the leaving exams and therefore there are a lot of people with a degree, which in the last years makes it really hard for people with such education to find a job. IMO leaving exams should be harder as well as the entrance exams on the universities. I would like to study International Area Studies or English and American Studies at the Charles University in Prague but I am also applying for Journalism and French Studies. Charles University is the oldest and largest university in the Czech Republic. Founded in 1348, it was the first university in Central Europe. It is one of the oldest universities in Europe in continuous operation, and a top university in Central and Eastern Europe that also ranks among the 1.5 percent of the world’s best universities. Today, Charles University comprises 17 faculties: Catholic Theological Faculty, Protestant Theological Faculty, Hussite Theological Faculty, Faculty of Law, 1st Faculty of Medicine, 2nd Faculty of Medicine, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine in Plzeň, Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Králové, Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Králové, Faculty of Arts (and Philosophy), Faculty of Science, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Humanities. Now I would like to say a few words about our school.Jaroslav Heyrovský Grammar School was established in 1994 in Prague 13 – Stodůlky. It has been named after Jaroslav Heyrovský since 1996. It provides an eight year and four year education for those who pass the entrance exams. Now, there are about 700 students attending our school. The headmaster of our school is RNDr. Vilém Bauer and the deputy headmasters are RNDr. Bartholomew Süč and Ing. Lenka Hrušáková. There are more than 50 other teachers in school. Students of our school can study about 25 subjects during eight years. Some of them are compulsory (e.g. Czech, English, Maths, Science, PE, Second foreign language, History etc.), some are elective (e.g. seminars in last grades – History, Third foreign language, Chemistry, Biology, Social Studies, Computer Studies...) and the others are optional, such as Drama Club, Films and Literature, Sports, Ceramics etc.