Students describe their experience from schools outside the US
By Kelly Chian, ’16
Junior Ahmed Negm went to the Green Heights Language School in Cairo, Egypt because of the conditions of public schools in Egypt. This outdoor private school has lunch and gym outdoors and lacks air conditioned rooms.
“I had to go to a private school because all the public schools in Egypt are bad,” Negm said. “The teachers in public schools hit the students and other things that make me want to go to private school.”
Negm also believes the Egyptian schools are harder than the ones in America.
“There are only free response questions instead of multiple choice questions, more memorization, and less help from teachers,” Negm said, “The two exams grades are the only grades for a class, so no homework or quizzes are worth points.”
Senior Lucia Garcia goes to school in Madrid, Spain and describes the similarities and differences from education in Spain and United States.
“In Spain, the classes are more theoretical; you don’t usually change classes during the day but rather have the teachers come to you,” Garcia said. “You have to study more by memory rather than in a practical way, also the arts are not so valued, and science classes are the ones that everyone puts on top as the most important.”
In addition to the different priorities in classes, the testing and grading are different.
“For exams, the standardized testing similar to the SAT is called Selectividad or PAU,” Garcia said. “The grading system is scaled from 1 to 10 as follows: 10 A+, 9A, 8B+, 7B, 6C, 5D, 1-4F.”
United Arab Emirates
Junior Anurati Sodani goes to a British school in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The UAE has a low student to teacher ratio of 1:28, but has a literacy rate lower than the countries around it.
“I go to private school, since every school you have to pay for because there is no system of public schools.”
Although in UAE, the extracurriculars and sports are similar, Sodani explains the major academic differences.
“The main differences are grading system ranges from A* to F is the same as the British system where A* is similar to A+. Also, I have to take the SATs on my own. However, my school is an IB school so the courses are similar.”
Exchange students and juniors Katharina von Westerholt and Malin Siebecke went to two schools in different cities but had similar education with small differences.
Von Westerholt believed the academics at UAHS are easier to understand due to the available resources.
“For example, Spanish is easier to learn here because the teachers care about you and I can get help,” Von Westerholt said. “There is Math Lab and other programs to help the students learn the material.”
Another Siebecke explains is the lack of sports in Germany.
“We don’t have sports in school. We may have a few but the schools are not in competition with each other,” Siebecke said, “You have to go to sports school as an extracurricular and it’s hard to get into these schools.”
Senior Sophia Xu explains how the school environment is much more competitive in China, since only two exams in ninth and 12th grade determine college acceptance.
“Friends compete with each other so hard for good grades, those people become enemies,” Xu said. “90 percent of students attend outside school classes to learn about next year’s subjects in the summer and on weekends.”
The environment is strict since students go through military training since middle school and have teachers who insults students about grades and dating. The school environment allows them to appreciate the lunch break.
“Once we have lunch break we appreciate it all,” Xu said. “The life is kind of cruel so we are satisfied with food.”
Senior Zeus Schroff attends high school in Mumbai, India describes his experience of education in India.
This International Baccalaureate (IB) private school provides IB curriculum equivalent to the one offered in the US. In India 29 percent of students attend private school whereas in the US nine percent of students do so. Education is divided into five years of primary, five years of upper primary, and two years of high school.
Schroff believes there are problems with the current education but it has its benefits.
“The Bombay International School is not like the public schools in India. The school focuses on learning and has a lot of classes and extracurriculars,” Schroff said. “However, public schools in India still focus on science and math and have a large amount of students with few teachers.”
Image Two Caption: Students at Umm Suqeim Model School use high-technology equipment from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Learning Programme. Although the UAE does not have free public schools but provides education funding.
Image Three Caption: Students at Wangba are doing military training. Xu explains that not attending the training resulted in a B on personality grade and during training the commanders would think of ways to make the students suffer.
Images courtesy of MiddleBurry Institute, the National UAE, and China Smack.