Education topics to talk about
Typ práce: Maturita
Počet zobrazení: 105
Education topics to talk about
The Slovak school system
Education is very important these days. If you want to succeed in our highly-developed society you need a good education. That is why all countries devote so much attention to their educational systems and try to improve them. There have been some serious changes made in the educational system in Slovakia in the last decade. The National Curriculum has been changed, a new school-leaving exam has been introduced at secondary schools and many students are taking advantage of studying abroad. In Slovakia school attendance is compulsory from the age of 6 to 16. It is free of charge and provides everybody in this age range with the same kind of teaching, education and with the same possibilities for their future education. Besides state schools, there are also church schools and private schools.
The school system as a whole includes:
PRESCHOOL EDUCATION (3-6 years)
Many children start their schooling in nursery school where they spend a few hours each day playing and doing some activities. They start socializing with other children. Pre-school education is voluntary and prepares children for compulsory school attendance. Pre-school education includes crèches, kindergartens and special kindergartens for disabled children.
PRIMARY EDUCATION - the elementary school
In Slovakia a nine-year attendance of primary education has been introduced to provide enough time for pupils to choose their future career through the system of different kinds of secondary schools. Primary education is divided into two stages: the first stage with grades 1-4 and the second stage with grades 5-9. Primary school provides children with a general education with pupils having from 25 to 30 lessons per week, studying languages, history, geography, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, art, religion or ethics and PE. Some years ago a new type of school was introduced – the eight-year “gymnasium“. After a certain period many pros and cons of this schooling can be recognized. One positive effect is that talented children are given an opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills by means of the demanding curriculum. But the same curriculum can sometimes lead to their overloading that can result in the loss of a childhood full of fun and taking things easy.
When children finish primary school, they can choose what type of secondary school they want to attend for the next three, four or five years. There are different types of secondary schools in Slovakia:
- schools equivalent to grammar schools in Britain or high schools in the USA – gymnasium
- vocational schools
- secondary special schools /e.g. secondary technical schools, commercial schools, secondary school for health workers such as nurses, laboratory workers./
Every primary school student has to apply and pass entrance exam before moving on to secondary school. Vocational and technical schools (agricultural, nursing, electro-technical, performing and fine arts and business and hotel academies) prepare students for their future professions but they also offer a general education. Other 3-year secondary vocational schools prepare students for practical jobs. Students graduate after passing final examinations in both theoretical and practical subjects. Gymnasium offers theoretical education and prepares for higher education. Some of them specialize in a specific subject, like math or languages. Studies at gymnasiums and specialized secondary schools take four years and are finished with a school-leaving examination (Maturita). Maturita exams are in four subjects, two compulsory and two optional. The exam has two parts: the written and the oral. Successful graduates from secondary schools can enter any university if they pass their school leaving and entrance exams well enough.
TERTIARY EDUCATION - universities
Many students want to continue their studies at universities where they study law, medicine, business or international relations and so on. First-year students usually have to get accustomed to an independent system of attending lectures and tutorials. While during their primary and secondary education they were given marks, at universities they have to get credits and grades A,B,C,D (if they pass) and F, X (if they fail). Students can enroll in three-year courses for bachelor’s degree or five-year courses for master’s degree. In Slovakia winter and summer terms are regular periods of the academic year.
In order to get a university diploma, a student must first successfully complete and present a thesis he/she has researched and written and then pass the state examination in his field of study. When students successfully accomplish their university studies they are given a degree in their field of study. The most advanced type of degree is a doctorate when postgraduate students study on their own for several years, doing research work and writing a dissertation explaining what they have discovered. They also have to defend their work in front of a panel of professors.
OUR OLDEST UNIVERSITY originated in 1465 in Bratislava, having been founded by Mathias Corvin (Academia Istropolitana). Today there is a national system of various faculties covering the needs of our society.
Organization of the school year - The school year starts around 1st of September and ends on 30th June of the following year. The school year is divided into two terms (September-January, February – June). During the school year there are many holidays, such as autumn holidays, Christmas holidays, half-year holidays, spring holidays, Easter holidays and summer holidays. Students get school reports at the end of January and June and are assessed by marks from 1 to 5 (1 – the best, 5 – the worst).
The British school system
British children begin their education at the age of five and must attend school till the age of 16. Some go to nursery schools from the age of three to five. So they have at least 11 years of compulsory full-time education. There are state schools and private schools in Britain. State education is free, while private education is extremely expensive. Both systems offer the same kind of education, but some parents believe that their children will learn better at a private school, where the classes are smaller and there is more individual approach. Others are against the principle of private education, saying that it is a privilege. The majority of British children (94%) are educated in state schools, which are free of charge.
The educational system in England has been gradually re-organized in recent decades and therefore there are several different systems nowadays. Until 1965 the most common schools were primary schools for children up to the age of eleven and then pupils had to pass an exam called Eleven Plus, which was actually an IQ test. The results of the Eleven Plus System decided whether pupils went to grammar schools for the best pupils (25%) or to secondary modern schools which took the rest (75%). This exam was abolished. There have been considerable changes especially in the secondary education.
Over 90 % of secondary schools are now comprehensive. They take all children over eleven and do not select the best ones on the basis of the test. But many children start at primary school at the age of five, then they go to middle school at the age of eight and when they are nearly thirteen they start to attend comprehensive secondary school. Comprehensive schools offer general education which ends at the age of sixteen. At the time most of the pupils take some form of public examination in around seven subject. This state examination is called “O” (ordinary) levels at the age of 16 in 5-8 subjects. These exams are national and give pupils a qualification that is recognized in the whole country. More ambitious pupils (about 1/3) continue their education after sixteen, for another two years, in the sixth form. During these two years students take a more academic form of study leading to an examination in two or three subjects.
This examination is very important for those who want to continue their studies at some of the British universities “A“ – (advanced) levels, at 18 years in 2-4 subjects. According to the results universities choose their students. The oldest and the most prestigious British universities include Oxford University and Cambridge University. Besides state schools there are private schools in Britain for children aged 11-18. Most of their pupils come from state primary schools on the basis of examinations. Some of these private secondary schools also have their own primary schools from which they take the best pupils. Public schools are private boarding schools which are peculiar to Britain. They are for children aged 13-18 accepted on the basis of the entrance examinations and also from small private preparatory schools for children aged 7-13. Only 5% of all children attend public schools. There fees are very high.
Most exclusive ones, with a long and distinguished tradition, are Eton, Harrow and Winchester Public Schools. The academic year begins at British primary and secondary schools in September. It is divided into three terms. Christmas and Easter make intervals between them. Children have a five-week holiday in summer, two weeks during Christmas, two weeks at Easter. There are two-week holidays in the middle of each term. Day schools work from Mondays to Fridays. Classes are held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the day is usually divided into periods of about 45 minutes. The average number of pupils in a class is thirty. Extra-curricular activities are very important. There are many different clubs and sport teams at schools which meet after lessons. Many schools have an orchestra that gives concerts or a dramatic group that stages play on Christmas. THE OLDEST BRITISH UNIVERSITIES are Oxford and Cambridge, often called Oxbridge. They date back to the 12th & 13th centuries.
Food served in some schools and academies in England must meet the school food standards so that children have healthy, balanced diets.
The school food standards apply to all maintained schools, and academies that were founded before 2010 and after June 2014. They must provide:
- high-quality meat, poultry or oily fish
- fruit and vegetables
- bread, other cereals and potatoes
There can’t be:
- drinks with added sugar, crisps, chocolate or sweets in school meals and vending machines
- more than 2 portions of deep-fried, battered or breaded food a week
Timetable – A school day is different at different types of schools. The average number of lessons at a secondary school is around thirty a week, primary schools have fewer lessons, while specialized schools often have more. Classes start at 8 am and usually finish at 1:25pm or 2:20pm. There are 4-7 classes in a row every day, but there also may be afternoon classes ending at about 4 o’clock. A lesson usually lasts 45 minutes.
Subjects – Many subjects taught at primary and secondary school are the same. At secondary school they are just extended in their contents and more demanding for learners. Subjects are divided into obligatory and optional. The most common subjects taught at secondary schools are Slovak language, a foreign language (English, German, Russian, French…), math, PE, religion, biology, chemistry, physics, history, geography and others. There may also be some specialized subjects too, e.g. archaeology, art, business studies, dance, drama, economics, music, psychology, sociology, technology, conversation in English. Most of these subjects are taught both at primary and secondary schools too. At secondary schools they are extended in their contents and more demanding for learners. As for special secondary schools, special subjects are introduced here as obligatory ones (economics, shorthand, typing) while at grammar schools, these can be taken as optional subjects.
Breaks – Breaks between the lessons usually last from 5 to 20 minutes. The 15 or 20-minute break is usually in the middle of the school day, that means usually after the third lesson. Other breaks last 5 or 10 minutes. Every student spends the break differently. Some students repeat the subject matter for the next lesson; prepare the needed school supplies, others meet their friends. They can also chat with their classmates, write their homework, eat their elevenses, or go out into the school garden and relax.
Free time and hobbies - Young people spend most of their time at school or studying for the following day, in their leisure time they like doing their hobbies like getting together with friends, listening to music, playing computer games and going to parties and discos. Many young people also attend after-school lessons which are provided by the school. They can do some sports there, or attend various classes, such as drama, math, or there are also language courses where they can improve their English knowledge and fluency.
Part-time jobs - Many young people are short of money and they have to look for a part-time job. They usually work after school or at weekends. Some teenagers also work during summer either in our country or they find the job abroad. Teenagers can work in the shops, as life-guards, they can sell ice-cream, as au-pairs.
Some parents pay their kids pocket money without expecting jobs to be done to earn it, while others expect pocket money to be paid for particular jobs around the house. If you decide to pay for jobs, one of the trickiest things to work out is what jobs you should pay your children for and what jobs are 'family jobs' that are expected to be done as a contribution to the family.
If you want to speak English better, you can travel abroad during summer, spend a year in a school in a foreign country, work as an au-pair during summer holidays, chat with an English friend through Internet, or you can attend language courses provided by various organizations.
It’s true that there are more and more people learning and speaking English these days. In fact, English is, according to some measures, the most widely spoken language in the world, the de facto lingua franca. Approximately 1.5 billion people around the world speak English, whether as their native tongue or as a foreign language, and this number is still growing.
But why limit yourself? What about the other 5.5 billion people who don’t speak any English at all? Even if you don’t plan on ever setting foot outside your own town again, what happens if the world comes to you?
With ever-increasing levels of international trade and business, tourism, immigration, and random cross-cultural experiences, chances are you will eventually find yourself face-to-face with someone who doesn’t speak English, at least not up to a level you understand. The reasons to learn a foreign language or two have never been stronger. You don’t need to be a polyglot, there are some reasons as for why to learn foreign languages, not only English.
- You have to learn a foreign language for school.
- It's necessary for your work (or better prospects).
- Because you want to travel overseas.
- You want to learn about other cultures.
- It'll make you smarter and in better mental health.
The teacher student relationship is very important for children. Children spend approximately 5 to 7 hours a day with a teacher for almost 10 months. We ask ourselves what is considered a good teacher? All of us have gone through schooling, and if fortunate had a favourite teacher. A positive relationship between the student and the teacher is difficult to establish, but can be found for both individuals at either end. The qualities for a positive relationship can vary to set a learning experience approachable and inviting the students to learn. A teacher and student who have the qualities of good communications, respect in a classroom, and show interest in teaching from the point of view of the teacher and learning from a student will establish a positive relationship in the classroom.
Teachers and students should accept each other. Teachers should be fair but strict, prepare students well for exams, listen to the pupil's ideas, be able to accept criticism, take an interest in the problems of the students, know the subject well, be prepared to admit that he/she doesn't know all the answers, have a sense of humour, be a model for students, praise a lot and keep discipline. On the other hand, students should accept the teacher, too. They shouldn’t talk in class, be cheeky, untidy, forget to do their homework, show no interest in the subject, show too much or too little knowledge, cheat, talk back, play truant, and arrive late for classes. During all the studies the student develops some sort of relationship with every teacher which he gets in touch with.
Basically, their relationship is formal, but at primary school teachers take more care about their pupils, mostly the younger ones, they are interested in their life and family background. Communication between them is closer; they are more like parents to their pupils. At secondary school teachers are more like friends but this relationship is not as close as at primary school. They don’t have as much influence on our personality as they have on our future. And, if the teacher isn’t friendly we begin to dislike the subject as well. But many good teachers know how to find their way to the students’ hearts and make them love their subject.
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