Foreign school systems

Jennifer De Tejada, Staff Writer

Although the two education systems differ from each other, Finland and South Korea are some of the countries with the top-ranked systems.
South Korea is known for their highly competitive system; many high school students have 16 hour school days. High school students take about 10 or so subjects, which include Korean language, ethics, social studies (including Korean history), mathematics, science, technology and home economics, physical education, music, fine arts, and English. A college entrance exam is issued to seniors. To achieve a high score, many students attend ‘hagwons’ after school. According to, hagwons are private entities, which help reinforce higher education and English skills .
Achieving a very high score can result in admission to one of South Korea’s top universities. A student’s college entrance exam score is believed to tell whether their life will be a success or failure. Although South Korea is ranked as one of the top countries with the best education system, suicide is the number one cause of death for South Korean teens. Many suicide cases of young teens are reportedly from academic stress.
Although South Korea’s education system is highly competitive, there are many valuable things American high schools can learn from South Korea’s education system. In all grade levels, students take responsibility for the cleanliness of their school, meaning students clean their school each morning. In South Korea, teachers hold a valuable and respected place in society. In fact, they have a saying:“Teachers are as high as God” (
Finland is also another country which tops the education system list. In 2012, Finland was ranked number five on the list. Finland is known for their ‘relaxed’ education system compared to South Korea.
While Korea’s education system is very constructed, Finland’s education system believes that “less is more.” While some students around the world have hours of homework, Finnish students are not assigned a lot of homework. Finland also has only one mandatory standardized test, taken when children are 16.
Finland’s graduation rate is around 94%, making it one of the countries with the highest high school graduation rate.
Meanwhile, Pakistan was ranked one of the countries with the worst education system. Pakistan is a third-world country, meaning there is a struggle with poverty. The lower class is unable to afford to send their children to school. Also, the funds for Pakistani education are extremely low which leads to inexperienced educators.
Another reason Pakistan has one of the worst education systems is due to gender discrimination. Girls are typically married off early or forced to stay at home and help with domestic chores, girls are often denied the right to education and all the advantages that go with it ( In Pakistan, girls are not seen as worthy of investing, in fact, in some cases, parents invest in their sons’ education rather than their daughters’.
Respecting teachers, taking responsibility for the cleanliness of their school, and studying harder are some of the most important lessons the U.S.’s education system can learn from other systems around the world.