Choosing Your Child’s Education System
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Choosing Your Child’s Education System
At some point in time during the first five years of a child’s life, his parents will face the task of choosing a nursery or school for him. There are many factors involved in the decision-making process including location, facilities, education and the examination system, as well as the financial implications for parents. It is never an easy choice, but following a system will help. Take into consideration our tips and suggestions when choosing nurseries or schools in Egypt.
School is the foundation for children to choose their career path in life. The most that any parent can do is find the best facilities, teaching staff and educational options that he can afford, so that at a later stage the child has a variety of choices before finally embarking on any major career decision. You will also have to decide on the style of education and the system (international versus national).
Choosing the system
Parents have the choice between an international system or a national system for their child. Under the umbrella of national comes government national schools, private national schools, and private language national schools. For the purpose of this article, what is meant by national schools are the private language schools implementing the national system.
Changing systems from international to national can cause problems because of the difference in subject choices. Therefore, you must be clear about the options available within both systems before you make your final choice. Read these four points for more information about each system.
The assessment and grading systems in each system can be different. International schools may use foreign staff to grade and assess course work and examinations. In many cases, course work contributes towards a final result, and quizzes and tests can be used to assess development or contribute to a grade.
In the national system in Egypt, children are assessed by formal examinations from 1st primary. You can expect monthly exams as well as mid and end of term exams, and the academic emphasis regarding homework and studying can be very rigorous for young children. Some children suffer greatly from examination stress and you may feel it is more appropriate for your child to attend a school which prefers ongoing assessment as well as a final exam, rather than a school that places a much greater emphasis on the results of examinations.
2) Size and structure of the class
Another major factor is the size of classes and their structure. Many national schools have large class sizes with one teacher and no teaching assistants. The children may not be separated according to their ability, but simply by birth date.
Many international schools prefer dividing children into classes according to their capabilities after an initial assessment and children won’t be placed until it is clear what class level is appropriate. Most international schools have approximately 25 children in each class.
3) Studying in Egypt or abroad
The Ministry of Education places a limit on the entry into Egyptian universities from international schools. Priority is given to those students who have followed the national system in Egypt.
If you intend to send your child abroad to attend university, or even to have a more flexible choice regarding this option in the future, international qualifications will give you this option.
4) Another language?
Parents also have the option of enrolling their children in a school that teaches in a language different from the one/s spoken at home. As English and Arabic are usually included in the school syllabus, an additional language – such as French or German – can give students more choices in the future. Previously, it was a requirement of many language schools to have one parent fluent in the language of the school, but many schools have become more relaxed regarding this policy. It is preferable to have a parent who knows the language, but usually not a condition for the child’s entry into school.
However, parents must consider that if neither speaks the language their child is studying in, assisting him in his studies at a later stage may prove difficult.