School attendance in the Czech Republic is compulsory from the age from six to fifteen
The school year starts on 1st September and ends on 30th June of the following year. The school year is divided into two terms (September - January, February - June). Primary schools have fewer lessons than secondary schools, which have about 35 a week. One lesson lasts 45 minutes and there are small breaks between lessons. Pupils are evaluated by marks from one to five. Each term students get their school report with marks from all subjects.
Education in our country includes these stages: pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary.
Pre-school education is provided by nursery schools, kindergartens for children aged three to six (creches - up to three of age). At six children start going to primary schools and they stay there until fifteen. Then pupils sit for entrance examinations to secondary schools. But at the age of eleven or thirteen can some pupils enter to a grammar school after they are passed an entrance examination.
Secondary school - several types:
a) Grammar schools - general and rather academic education, which prepares students for university (Gymnasium).
b) Technical (special) schools - technical colleges, specialised in building, chemistry, business academies, music and art schools.
c) Vocational schools - prepare students for practical professions.
Secondary education usually lasts for four years and at grammar and technical schools are finished with a school-leaving examination, which is taken in four subjects. The compulsory exam from Czech is divided in oral and written part. Students can finish their studies or for these, who don't want to study on university can attend two-year courses with specialisation for managers, businessmen, language expert, etc.
Tertiary education is provided by tertiary education, which lasts from four to six years. Students are accepted after they have passed an entrance examination. The exam consists of a written text and an interview. Our oldest university is Charles University in Prague (founded by Charles IV. in 1348), other schools are Masaryk University in Brno, Palacký University in Olomouc and Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem. Undergraduates can study for example economics, architecture, law, journalism, foreign languages, medicine, science, music, art… The university students can study at three-year courses for a Bachelor's Degree or for four (five) for a Master's Degree. Doctoral Degrees are awardedafter another few individual years of study.
Education at state schools up to eighteen is free of charge but university students are expected to pay for their accommodation and board. Also secondary students and undergraduates have to pay for their textbooks, which is a quite big amount of money. All schools in Czech Republic are coeducational, that means that boys and girls are educated together.
Full time education is compulsory for all children between the age of five and sixteen. Most of children attend schools supported by public funds, the rest attend private or church schools or have a private teacher.
Pre-school and primary education is provided by nursery (kindergartens from three to four years) and primary schools. Compulsory education begins at five, when children go to infant schools. At seven many children move to junior schools, where the work is more systematic. At the age of eleven pupils are transferred from primary to secondary schools. Most of state secondary school pupils go to Comprehensive schools. The principal examination at about sixteen is the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE - O level). Advanced level of this exam is GCE A (level), which gives students possibility to study further and this exam is taken at eighteen.
Higher education covers all post-school courses above GCE A level. Higher education institutions include universities, polytechnics, teacher training colleges and other colleges of art and professions in medicine. The oldest universities are Oxford (1167) and Cambridge in England, St. Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburg in Scotland. Some younger universities founded in 19th and 20th century are in London, Manchester, Sussex and York…Universities courses last usually three to four years. The first degree is Bachelor of art (B.A.) or of science (B.Sc.). Students with this degree can study further to get degree of Master of art (M.A.) or of science (M. Sc.). The degree Doctor of Philosophy is given to people, who contribute to human knowledge.
American system of education
There is not a national system of education in USA. Each state has its own laws regulating education. The educational system is called system "6-3-3 Plan": six years elementary school from the age of six, three years Junior High school, from twelve to fifteen, and three years Senior High school, from fifteen to eighteen.
Pre-school education includes nursery schools and kindergarten, which are up to the age five or six. Most of them are private. Compulsory education begins at the age of six. Both the elementary and secondary education are comprehensive, there is no selection of children. Years in USA are called grades.
6-3-3 Plan course is free of charge. This course is finished by high-school diploma called "The American High-school Diploma". This is given to students who complete their course with satisfactory credits, those marks are given for attendance and marks given for a quality of work. Most students study four or fives subjects, there is a very wide choice. Some subjects are compulsory. It is more difficult to get in to university in Britain than in the USA. This is because there are fewer university places in Britain. About one third of high-school graduates go on for some higher education.
Higher education - universities, the technical training institutions. The courses last from six months to four years and students get technical skills. There are two-year Community Colleges, from them students may enter many professions or go no in four-year colleges. Students can get Bachelor's Degree (B.A., B.Sc.) after four years, Some universities and post-graduate colleges also awarded Master's Degrees and Doctoral Degrees. The most famous universities: Harvard, Yale University, Princeton University, College of Colombia, etc. The cost of university studies is high and it is paid by private savings, income from a part time job held by students, loans or grants.
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