International Education

Education system in India

Evolution is the principle of the universe and the education system is no exception. Thousands of years ago, in India the education was provided by the “GURUKUL” system. GURU means a teacher. The student used to go to the teacher’s place to learn everything from running a house to Sanskrit, Math, Metaphysics and Holy Scriptures and only the privileged used to get an opportunity. But as time passed by, the education became a necessity. To earn bread, one needs to be educated. In a world so competitive, the more qualified you are the better are your chances to get employed.

In the existing system, the child’s educational journey starts from the school. Well not exactly school but from the kindergarten to be precise. One can think of the kindergarten as a pre-school.  The school is divided into 3 broad sub categories: Primary School, Secondary School and Senior Secondary School. Till the Secondary School the generic subjects are being taught like Science, Math, History, Languages and Moral Science and in the senior secondary school the child chooses a stream of his choice: Arts, Commerce, Non-Medical, and Medical.  Both the private and the government schools follow a BOARD system which can be CBSE (Central Board of education system), ICSE (The Indian Certificate of secondary education) or State Boards. The board exams are conducted at the end of the secondary and senior secondary school. After the school the student opts for a college or a university for a specific subject related education. Here the student gets polished and is prepared for the professional world. However, Graduation is not the end. One can always go into the depth of the subject by enrolling for the Post-Graduation and then the PhD. Education has no end, there will always be something to learn.

Now the question is: Who provides education? The education is provided by two sectors in the Indian community: The Private Sector and The Government Sector. The government sector is governed by the state or the center government while the private bodies run the private schools and universities. Although the curriculum is similar in both the types of schools but there is a huge difference in the facilities provided. The private bodies have a higher fee structure and in return provide better facilities to the students like infrastructure, lab facilities, sports facilities, theatre rooms, music rooms etc. The government schools lacks funds so they often do not have fun and recreational activities for the children. The government schools also provide various types of reservations like reservation for the backward communities of the country, reservation for the students into sports, reservation for the families of the Indian army etc. There is also a system of scholarship which is provided by both the sectors: Private and Government, where the student who performs exceptionally well is offered a waiver of the fees.

Being a part of the Indian education, I wish we impart more practical knowledge to the students, so that the students are ready to face the real world. Our current system puts more efforts on the theoretical aspect of the studies. In my belief, the theories learnt when put to test leaves a better impression on the student. The bookish knowledge is not retained for longtime. But we cannot ignore the importance of the theory part. So there should be a balance of both. The essence of the Indian education is limited to the classroom education. Also the mindset of the people of a country plays a vital role in the life of the youth. For instance the Indian parents always wish there students to be engineers and doctors. And likewise our education system provides us a platform where there are more institutional bodies for the engineer and doctors and less for artists and sports person. Also, our system does not motivate children to pursue their passion until they complete their school. There should be student counselors in each school to guide the student towards their goals and show them the right paths. And students can be offered various after school classes of their interests which could fetch them some extra credits. Keeping aside all these points, we all would undoubtedly agree that Indian education has given the world very talented doctors, researchers, scientists, artists and sports person.

At last, an effective education system can help a child become knowledgeable rather than just being qualified. And the educational system is perpetually improving with the help of technology. The government focuses on educating all and hence provides free education to all the children in the age group of 6 to 14 years.

 

 

What the Education System Is Like In Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

The educational system in Nigeria has changed over the past decade. This is obvious in many cities in the country. Port Harcourt in Rivers State is one of those cities.

In this article, we’re going to look at several aspects of the educational system in this city. This includes the general structure and the improvements that can make things a lot better for the Garden City.

What Is The Structure Of The Education System Like In Port Harcourt?

The education system in Nigeria adopts the 4-6-3-3-4 structure and has done so for many years. This structure implies that students are to spend one year in pre-nursery before heading to nursery school.

Then, they spend another three years in nursery school. Another six years in primary school must take place before they head to secondary school.

All students must pass the common entrance examination before gaining admission. The common entrance examination is specific to the school you choose. Schools generally have the right to set these exams without interference.

Secondary schools in Port Harcourt includes the junior secondary school and senior secondary school. This system is universal across the nation and is enforceable by the government.

Both sets consist of three classes each (six in total). For students in junior secondary school to move to senior secondary school, they will need to pass an exam. This exam is the Junior National Examination (NECO).

Senior secondary school students will have to take the West African Examinations (W.A.E.C) or the senior NECO. Failure to pass at least one of these exams means access to Nigerian universities will be impossible. To get accepted into a Nigerian university to study a licensed profession, you will also need to pass certain subjects.

For example, literature is a core subject if you want to study law at the university.

University Structure in Port Harcourt

There are about three major universities in Port Harcourt. These are the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State University, and Ignatius Ajuru University. To get into any of these universities, students must pass the W.A.E.C, the Joint Matriculation Examinations (JAMB), and the internal examination of the university.

The number of years you spend at the university will depend on your choice of study. For example, studying law is five years in the university, while studying business administration is just four years.

A Typical Day for a Student in Port-Harcourt

A typical day will start as early as 7 or 8 am. This is when most classes begin. Every subject will last between 40 minutes to an hour (one period). Periods refer to the length of time for each class. So a class might last for a single period. Sometimes, it can last longer. Students often get free periods in between classes.

Classes in the university last between 1 to 4 hours.

A student’s day in Port Harcourt will usually end between 3-5 pm every day. On Fridays, most schools close at 1 pm. This includes most universities in Nigeria.

To be a student in Port Harcourt can be joyful and frustrating. The lack of educational facilities can make learning harder. Also, the seeming lack of interest in the majority of lecturers in the universities might contribute to students having a torrid time.

However, students usually find ways to make their stay in school memorable.

What Is It Like To Be A Professor, Teacher Or Education Administrator In Port Harcourt?

Teachers in Port Harcourt are all very qualified. However, the motivation to teach can quickly reduce due to various factors. At the top of that list includes the lack of promotions, incentives, and payment of salaries.

A typical day for a teacher starts around 7 am. For some lecturers, it might start as late as noon. Teachers often find themselves shuffling between classes during this period. They usually go home right about the same time as the students.

Reforms Needed To Make the Educational System Shine in Nigeria

Certain issues need to be corrected if the education system in Nigeria is to improve. Teachers need to earn great packages for the hard work they put in. Students, on the other hand, need to have the right tools to learn properly.

Students also face sexual harassment from a minority of lecturers. Protecting students should also be a top priority.

Making these reforms will surely take time. However, it is surely doable. The education system in Nigeria will change with effort and commitment by everyone in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Educational System in the Philippines

The Philippines is a country located in Southeast Asia with three main islands: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.  It shares maritime borders with Malaysia &  Indonesia in the south, and Vietnam & Taiwan to the north. 

The Philippines has the second largest population in Southeast Asia which was estimated at 109,581,078 million in 2020, spread over its more than 7,600 islands.  The large population has a considerable influence on its education system, especially in urban areas where the population density is high. 

Spanish Influence in the educational system

The Spanish came to the Philippines in March 1521 and established a colony from 1565-1898. For more than three centuries, the Spanish transformed the country from its original Malay roots into a Western-type Catholic-based culture. 

Augustinians, Franciscans, Jesuits, and Dominican friars started arriving in the Philippines and established their schools across the country. These Spanish friars and missionaries educated the locals through religion and converted most Filipinos to Catholicism. 

The Philippines is home to the oldest universities and colleges in Southeast Asia. Most notable of these educational institutions is the University of Santo Tomas (UST) -Manila, the oldest Catholic University in Southeast Asia founded in 1611. UST is still one of the most prominent universities in the Philippines, catering to thousands of students across all levels, including post-graduate studies,  Medicine, and Law. 

But one valid criticism against the Spanish Educational system is that they only served the Spanish and wealthy Filipinos, which were called “Illustrados.”  Many Filipinos did not have formal education and could not attend Catholic Educational Institutions, which were only reserved for the wealthy and elite class. 

Spain only introduced the modern public school system in 1857. Free access to modern public education to all Filipinos only started on December 20, 1863, through the enactment of an education decree by Queen Isabella II of Spain. 

American Influence in the Educational System

The American occupation in 1898  contributed a lot to the Philippine Educational System. Through the efforts of the American government, the public school system became accessible to all Filipinos, and English became the primary language of instruction. 

They established a new system of public education that was modeled after the United States school system. The Department of Instructions administered and established several schools across the Philippines.  

The Americans also established several colleges and schools in the Philippines, including the Philippine Normal School, an institution for training teachers, which was founded on September 1, 1901. They also built the first public university, the University of the Philippines, which was chartered in 1908. 

The United States extensively developed and influenced the educational system in the Philippines. English became one of the main languages of instruction. The Philippine Educational system is still mainly based on the American system of Education and English has become one of the major languages in the Philippines. 

How is the Philippine educational system structured?

Education in the Philippines is structured through the K to 12 programs of the Department of Education.  The said program covers 1 level of Kindergarten and 12 years of Basic Education, which is six years of primary, four years in Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School.

The Philippine school curriculum is based on the K-12 Most Essential Learning Competency (MELC) guideline of the Department of Education. The MELC is the main reference of all schools in the Philippines and determines the content and method of delivery for the different grade levels and students. 

Classes are usually from June to March, with a short break during the Christmas season. However, due to the COVID19 pandemic, classes in the Philippines have been temporarily rescheduled. Some private schools started in September, while public schools will begin in the first week of October. 

The K to 12 programs are implemented through various free public schools across the Philippines. Parents can also enroll their children in private Catholic and Non-sectarian schools in different cities and provinces.  Most Private schools in the Philippines offer pre-kindergarten classes for students. 

Tertiary or College Education is free when you enroll in State Colleges and Universities. Slots are limited so students’ have to go through a rigorous selection process, which includes passing the entrance exam to enroll. Others may choose from hundreds of private universities and colleges that offer a variety of courses. 

The Philippine Public School System

The Department of Education recently announced the enrollment of 22.36 million students in the public schools for the school year 2020-21. This number is 88.35% of last year’s total enrollees. A little lower, but considering the effects of the COVID19 pandemic is still a good number. 

A typical class in public schools starts with students gathering in an open area inside the school compound for “Assembly,” followed by prayer, singing of the national anthem, and “Panatang Makabayan (Patriotic Oath). The school Principal or the Teacher-in-Charge will make important announcements before they go to their respective classes. 

Public schools in the cities would have two shifts due to a large number of students. The school assigns each grade level, either a morning or an afternoon shift. Schools in rural areas or provinces only have one shift since they have a lower school population. 

Subjects include Math, Science, English, “Araling Panlipunan” (Social Studies), Filipino, Values Education, MAPEH (Music, Art, P.E. & Health), and TLE (Technology and Livelihood Education). The students spend most of their time inside the classroom and wait for their teachers to come in. But in subjects like PE and TLE, students go out and transfer to a different venue or room. 

Due to the COVID19 pandemic, there will be no face to face classes this year. Public schools will be learning through a variety of modalities.  They will be using Online Learning using learning apps such as google classroom and meeting or learning through printed modules prepared by teachers. 

The Philippine Private School System

Department of Education records show that there are 14,435 private educational institutions in the Philippines. This year 2.12 million students enrolled in private schools or 49.3 percent of students enrolled last year. This is lower due to the adverse impact of the COVID 19 pandemic. 

Private schools have smaller class sizes but have the same set of subjects following the MELC guidelines. Since Catholic organizations manage many private schools, they have additional subjects such as Religious Education.  Religious activities such as mass, retreats, community service, and daily prayers are incorporated into their curriculum. They also offer special courses like dance, robotics, drama, and other special classes not included in the MELC guideline. 

Most Private schools are more equipped than their private counterparts but follow the same guidelines. A typical day would include an assembly, singing of the National Anthem, reciting the Panatang Makabayan (Patriotic Oath), and morning prayer. Afterward, they will have their normal subjects and transfer venue for PE, TLE, Computer, and Science Laboratory. 

The COVID19 pandemic has affected these schedule since face to face class is still not allowed. Students of private schools use online platforms such as Schoology, Google Classroom, Canva, Zoom, Google Meet, or other applications.  They have a combination of synchronous (Live)  and asynchronous(Non-live)  sessions with their teachers. 

How is the teaching experience in the Philippines

Teaching in Public or Private schools in the Philippines has its reward and difficulties. Teaching in the Philippines requires a lot of preparation. Teachers must create and submit a syllabus, course outline,  lesson plan,  learning modules, presentations, and other materials. 

The COVID19 pandemic also added to the work, since teachers are now expected to create online-modules, instructional videos and learn new online teaching apps. School administrators should invest more in training and online materials for teachers. 

Teaching amidst a global pandemic is challenging, but it’s still wonderful to see the teachers and students doing their best to study and learn amidst all the challenges. The key is flexibility and openness to new ideas,  willingness to change, and adapt to the new normal of education.