Education in GB and USA - Образование в Великобритании и США

Education is very important for every person. It gives information and opportunities for further life. Every country has its own, unique system of education. We can note examples of many different systems, but I think the most developed and popular are: education system in the USA, the education system in Great Britain, as the most oldest, and Russian education system, the best in some qualities I think. But as many persons as many opinions, and the best way to prove something is to compare it, I consider.

There are three main systems in Britain: the Comprehensive system, the selective and the private system. The Comprehensive system was introduced in Britain in 1960s. More than 90% of children who go to state schools go to schools of comprehensive system. Children go to a primary school at the age of 5. Then they go to the upper school - usually called comprehensive - at the age of 11. Alternatively they may go to the middle school for 3 or 4 years before going to the upper school. The selective system, which still exists in some areas of Britain, is old. It was introduced in 1944. Children are selected according to their abilities. In Britain children then take an examination called 11-plus and who are successful go to the grammar school and those who fail enter the secondary modern school. And the last subsystem that is developed in Great Britain is the private education. In Britain about 7% of children go to private schools. There are three levels of private education: primary schools - age from 4 to 8, preparatory school - age from 8 to 13. At the age of 13 children take an examination. If they are successful they go on to public schools where they usually remain until the age of 18. Almost all students in Britain take examinations. The public examinations taken by British schoolchildren are called GCSEs (The General Certificate of Secondary Education). Pupils usually take their GCSEs at the age of 16. Pupils who have passed their GCSEs may remain at school for another two years and take their advanced level exams. It's interesting to mote that any student who wants to go to the university needs to pass two or three "A" level exams.

Most schools in the United States start at the kindergarten level. In addition to bilingual and bicultural programs many schools have special programs for those with learning and reading difficulties. All the education system of USA have always stressed the importance of "character" or "social skills" through extracurricular activities, including organized sports. There is usually a very broad range of such activities available. They not only give pupils a chance to be together outside normal classes, but they also help to develop a feeling of "school spirit". And to my mind it is the one of the most striking differences between the American education system and Russian education system. And I'm sure that it is our great loss. In my opinion the weakness of the US education system is that students at early age have to choose subjects and they don't receive the beginning knowledge of all branches of sciences. The education in the USA is most provided with new technologies. In every school there are new models of computers and almost every school has a direct connect to the Internet. Internet gives an opportunity for remote education with the help of e-mail, special forums and teleconferences. Russia is on the first stage of bringing these technologies in education. But I hope we will have them too in our school.