Education In Switzerland Essay

1314 words - 6 pages

Educational systems can vary drastically from country to country. Switzerland is in a class of its own in relation to how it runs its educational system. No country runs their educational system quite like Switzerland, largely in part due to how the country itself is divided. Switzerland is made up of twenty-six different cantons, or member states. Each of these member states has their own constitution, parliament, laws, and court system. The Swiss have a few more educational levels than countries such as the United States and Canada. Switzerland is also one of the world leaders in public expenditures on education; in 2008, public expenditures totaled just over $29.09 billion USD for ...view middle of the document...

Switzerland’s educational system consists of six different educational systems. These education levels are in order as follows: pre-school, primary level education, lower-secondary education, upper-secondary education (Baccalaureate schools and upper-secondary specialized schools), tertiary level education (cantonal universities, universities of applied sciences, universities of teacher education), and continuing education (educa, 2011). All of Switzerland allows for one to two years of free pre-school education. Obligatory learning begins at age six and continues until the child is fifteen. Switzerland allows students to attend either a vocational and apprenticeship opportunity or for the academic route, which eventually leads to attending a university. The vocational and apprenticeship option normally takes around four years to complete and include three hundred different professions. One interesting side note is that students have no option but to learn at least two languages apart from their native Swiss language, setting the stage for its students to succeed on both a national and global scale.

Primary, or elementary schooling, lasts between four and six years depending on which canton you reside in. Primary school generally begins around age six and lasts an average of five years. In primary schools, it is normal for a teacher to be given a very considerable amount of freedom to in planning their curriculum within the framework of the specific schooling laws and regulations set forth to the public by the regional cantonal. As illustrated on Unikom’s website (2013), “the aims of primary school are: to provide sufficient knowledge of the mother tongue; arithmetic and geography to a basic level and as the foundation for attending higher schools; to encourage the artistic and creative development of the child through singing, drawing and handwork lessons; physical education; training in social behavior.” Parents have the option to send their children to private schools rather than primary schools, but 95% of the Swiss population chooses to send their children to public schools at no cost to them.

Secondary education proceeds the primary education phase. There are two types of secondary education: lower Secondary and upper Secondary. It is obligatory for all students in Switzerland to complete schooling until a minimum of fifteen years of age. It is at this point that all students are divided according to their career preferences. Academically oriented students will enter high school and must pass an examination to complete high school; this exam is known as a Matura. The Matura also serves as the foundation for being accepted into a university. Students may opt for vocational schooling as well rather than take the academic route. Students in vocational school will be ready to work more quickly than other students as they will have already served an apprenticeship and are considered work ready.

Once a student has completed their...

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