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Jacob Siska March 20, 2011 Rhetoric & Writing (F. D. ) Education: U.
S. vs. North Korea Two educational systems that deserve attention are those of the United States of America and North Korea. The United States has 50 states, each of which has its own Department of Education. North Korea on the other hand is mainly controlled by one government. Both of these systems are effective, but the one that produces the most intelligent students is North Korea.
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There are three ways to judge the differences between the U.S. and North Korean educational systems. There is funding for schools, educational structure, and governmental influence on education.
Using these items of comparison will give a good idea of which country has a better educational system. First of all there is the factor of funding and how much money is spent on schooling. The United States receives money from the government but the majority of that is from the taxpayers. Taxpayers are the parents, grandparents, and pretty much everyone else that has money.They all pay taxes on their income and a good amount of that goes towards the schools in the area that they are living. The amount varies from state to state depending on the laws and the way the budget is split up.
In the 2004-2005 school years, total taxpayer investment in K-12 education in the United States was estimated to be $536 billion. In addition, taxpayers spent an estimated $373 billion for higher education in the same school year. As a whole the United States dedicates 3% of their GDP towards education. GDP is basically how much money the U. S.
akes and what portions of that go into different programs. Overall, the U. S. is spending a lot of money on educating the future leaders of our world, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to measure up to the achievements of North Korea. North Korea is different because they are not divided up into different states like the U. S.
; rather they are unified as one government. From ages 5-15, education is funded by the government, but beyond that students must pay tuition. Recently though, there have been arguments about why only Korean schools are excluded from the tuition-free plan.Choe In Tae, Vice Chairman of the Conference of Principals of Korean High Schools in Japan during a press conference, said Korean high schools are no different from other high schools in Japan.
And excluding them from the tuition-free program based on “political and diplomatic reasons,” an action he said is a violation of human rights, would encourage “ethnic discrimination. ” This is true because think of America and how they don’t charge tuition until a student enters college, unless of course that student is enrolled in a private high school and has to pay, but that is by choice, not force of the government.The North Korean government spends 2% of its GDP on education, not much lower than the U. S. does, but in terms of dollars, it’s still a significant amount. North Korea’s educational system is practically free until the point where the student wants to continue their education further in a college or university.
Also in North Korea they have specialty universities dedicated to one purpose most of the time. Those include a school for science, foreign language, arts, sports, engineering, etc. This shows how devoted the North Korean government is to creating the most knowledgeable students in every aspect of education.The second matter at hand is the educational structure of both the United States and North Korea.
To start, the U. S. has no country-level education system or curriculum. Each state makes its own curriculum to follow and although it may be similar nationwide, it certainly does not keep every student on the same level. One thing that does remain constant in every state is the grade structure. First is kindergarten, next elementary school (grades 1-5), then middle school (grades 6-8), and finally high school (grades 9-12).For continuing education one would enter a college or university for whichever major or line of work they would want to explore.
The basic school year for grades K-12 is mid August to early June and the school day usually consists of seven hours of classes. In high school students are required to take classes in English, Math, Science, and Social Science plus foreign language and physical education. This may seem like the U. S. has everything under control and the structure is flawless, but obviously there is a problem when they rank 33rd in reading scores, 27th in math, and 22nd in science (as of 2006).This is nothing to be proud of and things certainly have to change in order to create a better future of education for children. North Korea is quite different from the United States because not only are they ranked much higher in terms of scores, but they have a system that seems to be working fine.
Children start off in what is called the General School System or grades K-10. In kindergarten there are two levels, one for age four and another for age five. Then comes elementary which begins at age six and takes four years to complete.Next is six years of middle school which also has two levels, one for age ten-thirteen and another for age fourteen-fifteen. Students study music, art, math, the Korean language, and social education. Social education includes studying about the former leader Kim Il Song, and “Communist Morality. ” In later years they learn about the policies of the communist party.
Social education also provides students with a controlled environment in which to learn so they are protected from “bad or unplanned influences. The basis behind all of this is something called the Juche Doctrine which requires an educational system involving human resource development along with a political consciousness that follows the Party’s course of action. Although this type of system is quite strict and requires many more hours of school related activities, students come out on top as far as scores. North Korea is ranked 1st in reading, 2nd in math, and 7th in science (as of 2006). This is more than just an accomplishment for North Korean students; it is a triumph over more than 100 countries.
Last but not least is governmental influence on education and learning. The United States is a democracy, meaning that “the people” are in control or have a large influence on the government’s decisions and issues. Democracy is an unusual concept because as time goes on not only does it get more popular, but it also is in every situation, whether it is a debate at the state capitol or simply an argument between a parent and child. Once these children, the ones who ask “Why? ” to everything enter school, they have no respect for authority.American classrooms are constantly being disrupted by unruly students because they know they have the right to question whatever is going on. Everything becomes a democracy and no longer is there one form of power that has the ultimate decision no matter what.
So overall, the U. S. democracy affects education because regardless of the authoritative figure, anyone can question it. North Korea on the contrary is run by one man, or what most people know as a dictatorship. Kim Jong-il is the leader of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) or just North Korea.
He is the one and only one that puts into place the policies of his country. This may sound irrational to America because they have the freedom do what they want and there are many rights granted to them. North Korea though is a complete dictatorship and their government has many strict rules. As far as education goes, there are many stern regulations that students must follow. In K-10 students must wear uniforms, learn about Communist morality, revolutionary history, Korean language and arts (with revolutionary themes), and the study of the lives of the Great Leader (Kim il-Sung) and the Dear Leader (Kim Jong-il).
This sounds crazy and outlandish, but the facts are that North Korea is producing some of the most intelligent students in the world and if this is what it takes to get there, then so be it. If there is anything that the U. S. should learn from North Korea, it is that they need more structure and discipline. Comparing and contrasting the two countries based on funding, structure, and government are good ways to look at them and see why as of now North Korea has a better educational system than the U. S.
North Korea has better funding because they only have to worry about the government expenditures and how that goes towards schools. Their educational structure is better because they learn more in a shorter amount of years compared to the U. S. Also, because of the stricter government there is less chance of questioning, and more learning. In conclusion, North Korea on the outside may seem like a scary place to go to, but once their accomplishments in education are revealed, it’s obvious that they are superior to the U.
S. in education reform.