Foreign Educational Systems
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India      Morocco      Saudi Arabia      Swiss      The Sultanate of Oman      The United Arab Emirates      Uzbekistan

1. Education System

(1) School System The school system in India is composed of ten years of primary and secondary education, two years of higher secondary education, and three years of higher education. Compulsory education is provided for children up to Class 10, i.e., grade 10. Students who wish to pursue higher education proceed to Class 11 and Class 12. Higher education in arts and sciences is for three years and professional schools require four or more years of education.

a. Primary and Secondary Education Primary school students are organized into classes 1 through 5. Secondary school students are organized into classes 6 through 10. Students who complete Class 10 take an examination that certifies the completion of elementary and secondary education. Only students who pass the examination may proceed to the next level.

b. Higher Secondary Education Higher secondary education is college preparatory education provided to students in classes 11 through 12. Students take subjects necessary for their desired major and required by colleges. Students who complete Class 12 take an examination that certifies the completion of higher secondary education which qualifies them for college entrance.

(2) Curriculum The basic school curriculum consists of Hindi, English, mathematics, science, social studies, foreign languages, physical education, and art. English and mathematics are compulsory subjects. Each school can add its own special curriculum that meets the purpose of the school. Students are taught not only through conventional classroom instruction but also through other methods of instruction such as group activities and tutoring.

(3) School Administration There are both public and private schools. Public schools include central government schools run by the federal government and public schools run by state governments. While the central government is only involved in macro educational administration such as providing general educational guidelines, state governments are in charge of the actual administration of schools. Private schools follow a school system identical to that of public schools, but each school offers something special in accordance with the school's purpose.

(4) School Certificate Examinations

The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) Examination is a public board examination conducted by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) for those who have completed Class 10. Candidates must have attended schools affiliated with the CISCE, and the examination has been designed to ensure a general education.

The Indian School Certificate (ISC) Examination is a public board examination also conducted by the CISCE for students who have completed Class 12. It is an examination taken after two years of studies beyond the ICSE examination or its equivalent.

There are two examinations similar to the ICSE and the ISC examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for students at schools affiliated with the CBSE: the All India Secondary School Examination (AISSE) for students who have completed Class 10 and the All India Senior School Certificate Examinations (AISSCE) for students who have completed Class 12.

The examination scores are necessary to gain admission to institutes of higher education.

* All states have their own state boards of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education equivalent to the CISCE or the CBSE for scholastic assessment.

* International schools such as Kodaikanal International School follow American or British curriculum and examination system.

2. Textbook System

(1) Textbooks made by the NCERT Textbooks made by the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) in the federal Ministry of Education are adopted by more than one thousand central government schools established for children of government employees and military personnel as well as by more than six thousand schools affiliated with the CBSE.

(2) Textbooks made by State Governments Because India is a federal state with diverse languages and social and cultural backgrounds, textbooks are published and distributed within each state. The Secondary Schools Examination Board of each state makes textbooks which are modeled upon the NCERT textbooks, which are written in English or in Hindi, in order to maintain homogeneity of elementary and secondary education throughout the country. However, structure and content of the textbooks may differ from state to state.

Source : Korean Embassy in India



1. Education System

The Moroccan school system is composed of two years of kindergarten, six years of elementary school, and six years of secondary school which is divided into three years of middle school and three years of high school. For each level of education, there are both state-run public schools and private schools. Public schools are free while private schools charge tuition, which is rather expensive for the average Moroccan.

Upon completing middle school, students going to high school must choose a major from the following four fields: Islam, humanities, sciences, or technology. These four fields are in turn divided into fourteen sub-fields. High school students complete one year of general curriculum and two years of specialized courses in their chosen field. After three years of high school, students take baccalaureate, the qualifying examination for college entrance, which is very important in a student's choice of a college.

The education system of Morocco, a former French colony, was modeled after and adapted from that of France. Moroccan students used to be able to enter colleges in France with a Moroccan baccalaureate, and children from wealthy families preferred studying in Europe or the U.S.A. However, recent European immigration policies that were implemented to curb immigration, especially the influx of African students, have discouraged Moroccan students from studying in these countries. As a result, the Moroccan government has established various higher educational institutions in order to accommodate more Moroccan students.

2. Textbook System

The Department of Curriculum (Direction des Curricula) in the Ministry of Education is in charge of curriculum development along with the Ministry of Education and the Curriculum Committee.

Curriculum is modified and reorganized about every five years following a discussion among the three organizations mentioned above. The Ministry of Education announces an open competitive bid for publication of revised textbooks. The Textbook Evaluation and Certification Committee of the Ministry of Education evaluates the plans submitted by publishers. The winners are entitled to the right to publish textbooks for three years without modifying the content and to supply them for five years.

Schools choose textbooks in accordance with their own instruction plan from those approved by the Ministry of Education. Although all private schools, except foreign schools, should use textbooks approved by the Ministry of Education, they may adopt additional subjects and textbooks with the approval of the Ministry.

Source: Korean Embassy in Morocco


    Saudi Arabia

1. Overview

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education was established in 1953, around the time that a modern Saudi educational system began to take shape. Schools were being established and school buildings constructed. The first university was founded in Riyadh in 1957, which was followed by the establishment of six other universities and a number of colleges and junior colleges. In the 1960s, King Faisal emphasized the importance of women's education and created the General Presidency of Girls' Education, which was to independently oversee women's education in the Kingdom. Since the 1990s, as part of its efforts to promote Saudization, the government has been expanding professional and technical training programs at higher education institutions.

2. Educational Administrative Agencies

Saudi Arabia has four government agencies for educational administration because Islamic law and the religio-social system distinguishes between men and women: The Ministry of Education is in charge of elementary, secondary, and normal education for boys. The Ministry of Higher Education is in charge of higher education for boys. The General Presidency of Girls' Education is in charge of all matters involving girls' education. The General Organization for Technical Education and Vocational Training oversees vocational and technical schools.

3. Educational System and Its Characteristics

The Saudi school system is a 6-3-3-4 system, which is six years of elementary school, three years of middle school, three years of high school, and four years of higher education. Although education is not compulsory, it is free. Girls and boys are educated separately. Religious education, or the study of Islam (Quran), is part of the Saudi national curriculum. Subjects that do not agree with Islamic sentiment, such as music and dance, are excluded from school curriculum.

4. Textbook System

Saudi Arabia has a system of government-designated textbooks. Textbooks are written by subject experts under the direction of the Curriculum Development Department in the Ministry of Education, and published by private publishers under contract. Textbooks are revised whenever necessary.

5. Recent Educational Policies

In order to transition to an industrial society because of the country's economic growth, the Saudi Arabian government has been putting all of its efforts into the development of human resources by increasing its spending on education. The Saudi economy is heavily dependent upon foreign workers, especially its engineering workforce. To promote "Saudization," which seeks to replace these foreign workers with Saudis, the Saudi government has taken measures to develop and secure Saudi human resources through education. As a result, vocational and technical training has been expanded. In addition, since women's employment has become more common around the world, the Saudi government is also putting a great deal of effort into women's education.

Source: Korean Embassy in Saudi Arabia



1. Basic Compulsory, Secondary II, and Tertiary Systems

(1) System: Switzerland has a three level system: Level 1 (Compulsory- elementary/middle/high school); Level 2 (Secondary II- high school); Level 3 (Tertiary- university). The compulsory Level 1 lasts nine years while the Level 2 or Secondary II continues for up to four to five years.

(2) Subjects

a. In primary and secondary education, linguistics and mathematics are considered a priority. In the case of linguistics, students are required to acquire skills in the national language spoken in the canton plus two foreign languages of the four Swiss national languages among which English is a choice. History, geography, natural science, technology, art, music, and physical education are also taught.

b. In Secondary II, additional languages, e.g., Spanish and Latin, are included and math and science are given priority. Subjects like civics, humanities, arts, and athletics are part of the curriculum. Interdisciplinary subjects account for approximately 15-25% of the curriculum.

c. Vocational school (Secondary II) includes vocational subjects as well as ethics, history, intercultural education, environmental education, economics, and law.

(3) Social Sciences: Compulsory

2. Textbook System

(1) Switzerland does not adopt textbook production or textbook approval systems. Each canton has a textbook committee (federal government affiliated) which lists textbooks qualified for use.

(2) Distribution: Primary and secondary textbooks are provided by the state, whereas Secondary II textbooks must be purchased by the student.

(3) Popular Publishers: Zurich Canton Textbooks Publishing Department, Aargau Canton Textbooks Publishing Department, and Klett Comelson

(4) Proportion of Private Schools: 27% of high schools, 10% of primary and middle Schools. Universities can be either public or private.

3. Traits of the Swiss Educational System

(1) Level of Education: The Swiss are not traditionally obsessed with going to college and 45-50% only go as far as vocational school (high school level).

(2) Reform: Local governments were in charge of education, thus there was a wide gap between each canton. A reform bill was approved in a referendum by an overwhelming majority of its citizens on 21 May 2006, after being ratified by the Swiss National Assembly.

Source: Publication by the Korean Embassy in Switzerland (2006)


    The Sultanate of Oman

1. Education System

In Oman, there are government-funded public (national) schools, private schools, and international schools for foreigners. The public school system recently changed from the 6-3-3 system to the 4-6-2 system. Study of Islam, Arabic, English, mathematics, and science are an important part of the school curriculum. Information technology is also taught in nearly all grades.

2. Textbook System

(1) Public Elementary and Secondary Schools

a. Curriculum development process: The Curriculum Department in the Ministry of Education determines the curriculum based on a draft curriculum drawn up by curriculum consultants, experts and textbook writers of each subject, and educational officials.

b. Textbook publication: The Curriculum Department is also in charge of textbook publication, the process of which includes collection of data for textbooks and writing, as well as the designing and publication. The printing of the textbooks is outsourced.

c. Textbook revision: Textbooks are revised every five years.

(2) Private schools: Private schools are attended by foreigners as well as Omanis. Private schools can adopt their own curriculum and textbooks with the approval of the Ministry of Education. Their education programs are also under the supervision of the Ministry of Education.

(3) International elementary and secondary schools: International schools are only for foreign students. They use their own curriculum and textbooks.

3. Characteristics of Omani education system

In 1970, there were only three schools in the entire country. During the past three decades, schools for all levels have rapidly been established and education has became a top priority of the Omani government. As a result, education is provided free of charge to all Omanis from elementary school up to university. Trends toward informatization and the demands of the labor market are reflected in the school curriculum and textbooks. Schools also provide students with opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, art, literature, drama, music, public health, community service, volunteer activities, and games.

Source: Korean Embassy in Oman


    The United Arab Emirates

1. Educational and Textbook Systems

The educational system in the United Arab Emirates is composed of two years of kindergarten (four to five year olds), six years of elementary school (six to eleven year olds), three years of middle school (twelve to fourteen year olds), and three years of high school (fifteen to seventeen year olds). Students in the eleventh grade or higher decide whether they want to study natural sciences or humanities in college. The compulsory subjects in the school curriculum are mathematics, science, English, Arabic, social studies (geography, history, and sociology), and Islamic religion.

There are separate textbook systems for public and private schools. Public schools use government-designated textbooks for all subjects. Private schools, most of which are internationally accredited foreign community schools, adopt the educational and textbook systems of their home countries. However, all private schools are supervised by the Ministry of Education and must use textbooks approved by the Ministry. Their curriculum must include Arabic and social studies and for Muslims attending the schools, Islamic religion

2. Characteristics of the U.A.E. Education System

Education is provided free for U.A.E. citizens attending public schools from elementary school to university. Ninety-five percent of girls and eighty percent of boys go to college or study abroad. Recently, the U.A.E. Ministry of Education launched a mid- to long-term strategy for educational development, lasting until the year 2020 and based on several five-year plans. The strategy aims to develop a curriculum that meets international standards, to train specialists necessary for the country's development, to introduce information technology education, and to increase the rate of native teaching staff to ninety percent.

Earnings from oil exports has made the U.A.E. one of the wealthiest countries in the world. But despite being one of the most developed countries in the world, the U.A.E. lacks high-quality native human resources. Arabs account for thirty percent of the country's 4.3 million population, while foreigners such as Indians and Pakistanis make up the other seventy percent. The country is almost entirely dependent upon the foreign workforce in the financial and information technology industries as well as in 3D jobs which are shunned by Arabs. Because oil in the U.A.E. is estimated to be depleted in a hundred years, the government is well aware that its present oil-dependent economy needs to diversify in order to achieve further economic growth. Realizing that a shortage of a qualified native workforce could hinder the country's future development, the government is putting all its efforts into developing its people. With the slogan, "Education is Wealth," it is investing heavily in education by benchmarking other countries' educational programs for training professional manpower. One country the U.A,E. is trying to benchmark is Korea because education is considered the driving force behind Korea's phenomenal economic growth.

Source: Korean Embassy in the United Arab Emirates



1. Education System in Uzbekistan and Its Characteristics

Uzbekistan has one of the highest literacy rates in the world. It also boasts a high level of education. The Uzbek government has taken measures to reform the education system set up in the Soviet era. According to the reform plan, the education system will shift from eleven to twelve years of compulsory education: nine years of primary and general secondary education and three additional years of specialized secondary education. The educational reform process is currently under way and will be completed by 2009 or 2010.

In the new education system, professional specialized education will be expanded. It is closely tied to the reorganization of secondary education in which general secondary education which equips students with general knowledge and a rudimentary understanding of profession is followed by specialized secondary education. Upon completing specialized secondary education, students decide whether to further their education or get a job. Vocational and technical education and specialized secondary education are administered separately. Vocational and technical schools, once funded and supervised by the Ministry of Education, are now the responsibility of local governments, a result of the reform after the country's independence. Specialized secondary education is coordinated and funded by the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education in the central government.

2. Textbook System

In 1992, soon after independence, the Uzbek government promulgated a new education act which led to the development of new textbooks that emphasized Uzbek national culture, language, and history as well as humanities and social sciences.

The Education Center in the Ministry of Education is in charge of textbook publication and distribution. A textbook is written by a group of college professors and school teachers in accordance with the government's guidelines. These textbooks are submitted to the Education Center when the Center announces textbook publication. A committee of experts organized by the Center examines the submitted textbook and makes their decision. The government has the final decision on the publication of textbooks chosen by the committee. Writers of textbooks approved for publication own the copyright to the textbooks. For printing of textbooks, the Education Center holds an open bid in which both private and state-run publishers can participate.

Because Uzbekistan is a multi-ethnic country and schools can use students' mother tongue as the medium of instruction if parents so wish, textbooks originally written in Uzbek are translated and published in six additional languages including Russian, Kazakh, Tadzhik, and Kirghiz. In addition, ethnic groups can publish their own language and literature textbooks, sometimes with the help of the country of their origin.

Textbooks are distributed to students by local education offices. The number of students determines whether textbooks are distributed to them by the Provincial (or Autonomous Republic) Office of Education, Municipal Office of Education, District Office of Education, or schools. Textbooks are provided free of charge to first-graders as a gift from the country's president. Other students purchase their own textbooks. The Asian Development Bank subsidizes the costs for textbook publication.

Source: Oh, Mahn-seog et al. An Analysis of Content on Korea in Russian and Central Asian Textbooks, Seongnam: Academy of Korean Studies, 2004.


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