Thursday, February 2, 2012

Grace C. Lapinig: Educational System in Thailand

Education in Thailand is provided mainly by the Thai government through the Ministry of Education from pre-school to senior high school. A free basic education of twelve years is guaranteed by the constitution, and a minimum of nine years' school attendance is mandatory.

Formal education consists of at least twelve years of basic education, and higher education. Basic education is divided into six years of primary education and six years of secondary education, the latter being further divided into three years of lower- and upper-secondary levels. Kindergarten levels of pre-primary education, also part of the basic education level, span 2–3 years depending on the locale, and are variably provided. Non-formal education is also supported by the state. Independent schools contribute significantly to the general education infrastructure.

Government or public schools are free for Thai nationals. Children that have at least one Thai parent are considered Thai nationals if their birth was registered in Thailand by the Thai parent. As a Thai national, they are able to register in a Thai public school and receive all of the educational benefits allocated to a Thai national. The only documents required when registering are a birth certificate and House Registration Document (Tabien Baan).

Parents are required to pay a nominal fee for books and necessities. They are also required to buy a school uniform. All schools have to be externally accredited by law to ensure they follow set procedures and meet standards. NEASC, ECIS, WASC and CIS are all accepted accrediting organisations in Thailand. Typically, teachers teach in their native language.

Mother Tongue Based Instruction
Both Singapore and Thailand employ the mother tongue based instruction in their educational system. Mother tongue instruction generally refers to the use of the learners’ mother tongue as the medium of instruction. Additionally, it can refer to the mother tongue as a subject of instruction. It is considered to be an important component of quality education, particularly in the early years. The expert view is that mother tongue instruction should cover both the teaching of and the teaching through this language.

The term ‘mother tongue’, though widely used, may refer to several different situations. Definitions often include the following elements: the language(s) that one has learnt first; the language(s) one identifies with or is
identified as a native speaker of by others; the language(s) one knows best and the language(s) one uses most. ‘Mother tongue’ may also be referred to as ‘primary’ or ‘first language’. The term ‘mother tongue’ is commonly used in policy statements and in the general discourse on educational issues. It is retained in this document for that reason, although it is to be noted that the use of the term ‘mother tongue’ often fails to discriminate between all the variants of a language used by a native speaker, ranging from hinterland varieties to urban-based standard languages used as school mother tongue. A child’s earliest first-hand experiences in native speech do not necessarily correspond to the formal school version of the so-called mother tongue.
It is an obvious yet not generally recognized truism that learning in a language which is not one’s own provides a double set of challenges, not only is there the challenge of learning a new language but also that of learning
new knowledge contained in that language. These challenges may be further exacerbated in the case of certain groups are already in situations of educational risk or stress such as illiterates, minorities and refugees. Gender considerations cross cut these situations of educational risk, for girls and women may be in a particularly disadvantaged position. In most traditional societies, it is the girls and women who tend to be monolingual, being less exposed either through schooling, salaried labour, or migration to the national language, than their sons, brothers or husbands.
Studies have shown that, in many cases, instruction in the mother tongue is
beneficial to language competencies in the first language, achievement in other subject areas, and second language learning. The application of the principle of mother tongue instruction nevertheless is far from being the rule. Some of the difficulties encountered by the use of mother tongues as languages of instruction may include the following:
o sometimes the mother tongue may be an unwritten language;
o sometimes the language may not even be generally recognized as constituting a legitimate language;
o the appropriate terminology for education purposes may still have to be developed;
o there may be a shortage of educational materials in the language;
o the multiplicity of languages may exacerbate the difficulty of providing schooling in each mother tongue;
o there may be a lack of appropriately trained teachers;
o there may be resistance to schooling in the mother tongue by students, parents and teachers.
In the Philippines, these lessons and findings of various local initiatives and international studies in basic education have validated the superiority of the use of the learners mother tongue or first language in improving learning outcomes and promoting Education for All (EFA).

DepEd Order No. 74, s. 2009 further explained that the preponderance of local and international research consistent with the Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA) recommendations affirms the benefits and relevance of MLE. Notable empirical studies like the Lingua Project and Lubuagan First Language Component show that:
o First, learners learn to read more quickly when in their first language
o Second, pupils who have learned to read and write in their first language, learn to speak, read and write in a second language and third language more quickly than those who are taught in the second or third language;
o Third, in terms of cognitive development and its effect in other academic areas, pupils taught to write in their first language acquire such competencies more quickly.

The Philippine educational system emphasized English and Filipino as the languages of instruction and textbooks, regardless of a child’s background. But a policy shift in 2009 opened the door for mother tongue based instruction in early primary years.

To put the policy into action for kids nationwide, the agency in February 2009 also conducted preliminary activities including a formative research on language perception and use in communities, a formation of Language Advisory Committees at the regional/community levels and other activities to raise awareness and prepare communities. They organized teacher training on curriculum adaptation and materials development, as well as making “culturally-appropriate” teaching materials such as alphabet primers, alphabet charts and books in the three languages.

Thailand - Educational System—overview - Schools, Public, Ministry, and Private -

Grace C. Lapinig: Educational System in Singapore

Apart from enjoying a status of famous shopping and tourism destination, Singapore is also emerging as a place for pursuing higher education. The pro-high technology policy of the government has invited billion of dollars of foreign investment in the fields of biotechnology, IT and research. The Ministry of Education (MOE) is responsible for controlling the development and administration of the schools and various government-funded educational institutions. In case of private schools, the MOE plays a crucial supervisory and advisory role. Education mainly revolves around the interests of the students. The teaching and pedagogical system follows a flexible approach that helps the students in developing their potentials and aptitudes.

The ministry of education is the premier authoritative institute that is responsible for ensuring that students in Singapore receive world-class education. The government on an average allots 20% of its annual budget towards development of educational institutes in the state, which is managed and appropriated by the ministry. Both the state and private educational institutes are allowed certain amount of autonomy in designing their curriculum, tuition fees and admission policies to remain qualified to government’s aids and assistance. The state has made it a criminal offense for parents who fail to enroll their children to schools at the right age. The main medium of education has been English although Malay, Mandarin Chinese and Tamil are also taught.

Singapore has placed an essential emphasis on education. This can be seen from the fact that education spending forms at least 20% of the budget of Singapore. Primary education has become compulsory for all the citizens of Singapore and if parents fail to enroll their children into school, it is considered a criminal offence.

English has been adopted as a first language and is the primary medium of instruction in most institutions. At school level however, Singapore follows the bilingual system of education with English being complemented by a mother tongue language. This system has proved to be extremely fruitful for the overall development of a student's abilities. This has managed to cross the ethnic and languages based borders amongst the citizens, and connect Singapore to the rest of the world.


Grace C. Lapinig: Egypt Educational System

All levels of education are tuition-free at all government schools and institutions in Egypt. However, the educational system is poor and needs overhauling. The Egyptian government spends about 3.5% of GDP on education, which is low by international standards. Underfunding is one culprit behind underdeveloped education infrastructure. Curriculum reform and more motivated teachers are also essential. However, as a forthcoming paper by Djavad Salehi-Isfahani and Navtej Dhillon argues, improving the education system requires not only more resources but also demands reforming the existing institutions that provide the incentives and signals to guide the choices of parents and students in what to learn. Two main institutional features common to most countries in the Middle East call for particular attention in this regard: the dominant role of the public sector in providing and rewarding education (through employment), and the heavy reliance on testing in grade promotion and university admissions, which encourage rote learning.

Current educational philosophy in Egypt is the product of three cultural heritages: British, secular (westernized) Egyptian, and Islamic (traditional) Egyptian. The British protectorate in Egypt left an exclusionary, state-controlled education system structured to serve elite (British) interests with little concern for the masses. The heritage was one of restricted opportunity, unenforced limited education (generally of poor quality), and higher education reserved mostly for the elite. Egyptians and non-English foreigners were left few options but to expand private and religious education.

Education is highly valued in Egypt and for children between the ages of six and fifteen education in Egypt is free and compulsory. There is still quite a high drop out rate unfortunately, due in part to levels of poverty, and adult literacy levels in Egypt are only around 57.7%. The education system is divided into either the State System or the Azharite Religious System. Schools in the former system and private schools fall under the administration and supervision of the Ministry of Education and schools in the Azharite Religious System are supervised directly by the Egyptian Prime Minister.

The public education system consists of three stages: the basic education stage for 4- to 14-year-olds (kindergarten for two years followed by primary school for five years and preparatory school for three years); the secondary school stage for three years, generally for ages 14 to 17; and the tertiary (university) stage. All preschool institutions, whether state run or privately operated, are under the Ministry of Education, educationally, technically, and administratively. The Ministry selects and distributes textbooks; the use of any additional textbooks is forbidden. Guidelines state that each class is to have two teachers and a helper in addition to a music teacher. The maximum class size is 45 students. No child less than 4-years-old is allowed in state preschool classes or schools. The private sector can accept children younger than 4, but not less than 3 years and 9 months.

The value of education in Egypt is highly prized, but while there exists such a huge discrepancy between the standards of living, amenities and facilities available to those from wealthy and poor and city and rural backgrounds there will continue to exist a barrier between those who can afford to send their children to school and those who don’t even have access to teaching staff or learning materials. Egyptian parents all want the very best for their children but not all can afford to send them to school. This is just another reason why many expatriates choose to take jobs in Egypt working for non-governmental aid and support agencies or who volunteer for a few years to teach students in impoverished or remote areas.

Comparing the educational system in Egypt with the Philippines, both educational systems are quite similar in terms of quality in instruction, infrastructures and graduates. What made the difference, may be in Egypt underfunding in Education is one of the reasons behind. While in the Philippines, there is a big funding for education that is allotted by the government. May be the problem lies in corruption, ill-political system and weak educational leaders that slower the attainment of educational reforms for quality education services.


Egypt - Educational System—overview - Schools, Students, Percent, and Secondary -

Grace C. Lapinig: Australian Education System

Australia is a vibrant economy and a rich cultural melting pot. One of the cornerstones of the development of the once penal colony is the system of education in Australia. There are many rules regarding schooling in Australia and it is these rules that help keep the country moving forward towards greatness and further prosperity.
Government schools are run by their respective state or territory government. They technically offer free education; however, schools do ask parents to pay a voluntary contribution fee, plus school camps, excursions and extracurricular activities require additional (voluntary) funding. Private schools also receive government funding; however, fees charged are much higher than those charged to attend government or Catholic schools.

School attendance in Australia is compulsory to children from five years of age. It is mandated that all citizens and residents are to receive eleven years of compulsory education. With these particular rules, the adult literacy rate in the country is at a high 99%. After the basic education of eleven years, the country has many government funded universities and educational institutions. This has allowed many individuals to enjoy higher education and degrees that can help not only themselves but also their families.
Australia has an international reputation for excellence in all areas of education and training. Australian schools, academies, colleges and universities enjoy an international reputation for excellence. Academic staff in universities are recruited internationally, and graduates from Australian academies, colleges and universities are employed all over the world. Australian courses are very high quality and recognized around the world. Major employers around the world recognize Australian qualifications and employ graduates with Australian qualifications.

The Australian school system starts with a preparatory year followed by 12 years of primary and secondary schooling. Schooling is compulsory until the age of 16 or completion of Year 10. An additional two years of study are necessary for those wishing to proceed to tertiary studies. In the final year (Year 12), students can study for a government-endorsed certificate which is recognized for further study by all Australian universities and vocational training institutions.

Australian universities and Registered Training Organization (RTO) are widely known for the quality of their teaching, research and training. Students learn from teachers and trainers who are experts in their industries and who can provide with a sound understanding of students’ chosen field. Students will develop strong academic and training skills that can be applied to other areas, and learn to think creatively and independently.

In 2007, the Australian Government announced a $6 billion Higher Education Endowment fund. This, together with an additional $1.7 billion in funding for other measures, will ensure the development of more world-class universities, and foster excellence, diversity and specialization in the sector. As part of the Education Revolution, the Government has also announced that the number of national undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships will be doubled over four years from the start of the 2009 university year. The Australian higher education sector consists of 37 public universities and two private universities that are autonomous and self-accrediting; four other self-accrediting higher education institutions; and about 150 other institutions accredited by state and territory governments (such as theological colleges and providers specializing in professional and artistic courses of study). An American university, Carnegie Mellon, has a branch in Adelaide. Australian universities have campuses overseas in Malaysia, South Africa and Vietnam. All Australian higher education institutions have mechanisms in place to ensure that the high quality of their courses and services is maintained at an international standard.
Indeed, financial stability and just leadership leads the country to quality and success. Australian government is an inspiring model that developing countries like Philippines, may aspire for.


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Educational system of South Korea ... by Joel Jayme

Dear Professor Olga,

Greetings of Peace!

When I read the facts about the educational system of South Korea, I learned that their education is viewed crucial and competition is consequently very neatly heated and fierce. A centralized administration oversees the process for the education of children from Kindergarten to the third and final year of high school. Their kindergarten is not publicly administered program, parents send their children to private schools. Most are taught in Korean, many of those have English class, and some kindergartens are taught almost entirely in English, it is true to some kindergartens in Korea for Upper Class. Kindergarten is composed of children from ages 3-7, most children do not attend preschool but are lumped together in a kindergarten class with other children who maybe within 3 years old age difference.

Elementary education consists of grades 1 to 6. Usually, the class teacher covers most of the subjects; however there are some specialized teachers in professions such as Physical Education and Foreign Languages, including English.

Secondary education is composed of middle school and high school. In South Korea, the grade of a student is reset as the student progresses through elementary, middle and high school. Middle schools are called in Korean jung hakgyo which literally means middle school. High schools are called in Korean godeung hakgyo which literally means high level school.

In middle school, it consists of three grades, most of the students enter at age 12-13 and finish at age 15-16. These three grades correspond roughly to grades 7-9 in the North American Sytem and years 8-10 in England and Wales system.

From the insights that I gained, I realized that there educational system composed of 12 years in schooling whereas in our country is only 10 years.

Therefore, as a school administrator, we have to support on the implementation of the K+12 enhanced basic education in our country to enhance the skills and capabilities of our students to compete globally.

* Joel L. Jayme

Educational system of Africa * Joel L. Jayme

Dear Professor Olga,

Greetings of Peace!

When the reporter, Mr. Abdon R. Bacayana shared his information about the educational system of Africa, I learned that public preschools are provided by some of the provincial departments of education. They are aimed to children of up to 7 years of age. Preschool is split up into two grades; a Pre-Grader for children of up to 4 years of age, and a Grader for 5 and 6 years olds. In both grades children attend language, mathematics, life skills, technology, arts, and culture.

The junior primary phase of schooling lasts 3 years. Children learn to read, write, calculate, and the basics of a second language. During the 3 years of senior primary phase students learn mathematics, history, geography, and science. They also acquire reading and oral proficiency in both their first and second language. Students have to attend one handy craft skill class such as needlework, woodwork or art. School uniforms are compulsory and the school code of conduct must be followed.

Secondary education in South Africa runs from grade 10 to 12 in the school system, levels 2 to 4 of the National Qualifications framework, or the National Certificate Levels 1 to 3 in technical colleges. After completing the 12th grade or the Senior Secondary Education, students take a written exam covering a minimum of six subjects to obtain the Senior Certificate. Students attend classes from Monday to Friday starting 8:00 o’clock in the morning to 2;30 in the afternoon. After their class, students can take part in after class activities or visit the local after care center. Their academic year is from January to December split up into 4 terms. First term begins on mid January and ends on April. It is followed by Easter Holidays which last 10 days. Second term is from mid April to June. It is followed by the Winter Holidays that last 21 days. Third term begins in mid July and ends on September. Spring holidays follow it and last 10 days. Fourth term is from October to December, Christmas Holidays are 40 days long.

From the information shared by the reporter, I realized that the wearing of uniform in Africa for public school students is compulsory and the code of ethics inside the school must be followed. From the point of view, wearing of uniform was given importance by the government.

Therefore, from the insights I gained, as a school administrator, even though wearing of uniform in public schools in our country is voluntary we have to try our best to convince all the parents to let their children wear uniforms. There are so many advantages rather than disadvantages if our students in public schools will wear their school uniform.

* Joel L. Jayme

China’s basic education system ... * Joel L. Jayme

Dear Professor Olga,

Greetings of Peace!

When I heard the report of Ms. Mercy O. Caronia regarding the educational system of the Republic of China, I learned many things from it. The basic education of this country involves pre-school, nine year compulsory education from elementary to junior high school, standard senior high school education, special education for disabled children, and education for illiterate people. China has over 200 million elementary and high school students, who, together with pre school children, account for one sixth of the total population. For this reason the Central Government has prioritized basic education as a key of infrastructure construction and educational development.

In recent years, senior high school education has developed steadily. In 2004 enrolment was 8.21 million, 2.3 times that of 1998. Gross national enrolment in senior high schools has reached 43.8 percent, still lower than that of developed countries. The government has created a special fund to improve conditions in China’s elementary and high schools, for new construction, expansion and the rebuilding of run down structures.

Government’s aim for the development of China’s basic education system is to approach or attain the level of moderately developed countries by 2010. The development of primary education in so vast a country as China has been a formidable accomplishment. In contrast to the 20 percent enrolment rate before 1949, in 1985 about 96 percent of primary school age children were enrolled in approximately 832, 300 primary schools. This enrolment figure compared favorably with the record figures of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

* Joel L. Jayme