Nejc Crnko

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Izobrazba in Evropa

Education system in Germany and Hungary

by Nejc Crnko, 2010

Education system in Germany & Hungary. Are you equal in the world after finishing school in one country or the other?


Youth around the globe are in different countries, which mean that they are all educating in different environments. Some of them are good and some not so, even though we all have the right to educate ourselves. In lots of European countries students are neglected and their educating system is based on people who are doing that just for the money. So even school system is all about money in lots of countries and their educating environment is not like »feels like home« but like a prison, where everybody is working just for their own profit and not really to educate students. I think that in bigger countries, education system is worse than in smaller ones. It's easier to look over a smaller territory and control it. If we compare European system and the system in USA, we can see a big big difference, because there are 50 different states where every single one of them is having some of their own modifications. They are not so far away from each other, the base is quite the same but instead of changing the system they've changed what they will learn in school, which is not bad until people are attending schools in their own state, but when they come out, to a bigger university, such as Harvard, Yale or MIT.

So back to Europe. So, are we different from USA which has influence on almost every country in the world? Yes, we certainly are, but there are already some signs of popular American culture in our schools. If we take Germany for instance, the responsibility for German education system lies in hands of every Budesstate with federal government playing just a minor role. But it's quite similar in all of them. First is kinder garden which is optional and educates children from 3 to 6 years old. Like in all countries in the world, kinder garden is based to give our youngest inhabitants proper intro in their further education. Next is primary school which last until they are 12 years old. It's a bit different from state to state in Germany, but most of them are using this system. And now, it's their choice where to go next. There are 4 types of schools you can go in in Germany after finishing primary school. First is gymnasium, which is quite similar to ours, but they have more grades. It's based on preparing students for their final examinations (graduation) and later for university. They graduate in 12th or 13th grade. The Realschule has a broader range of emphasis for intermediate pupils and finishes with the final examination in 10th grade. Next choice students can pick is called Hauptschule which ends with final examination in grade 9 or 10. Last but not least is the Gesamtschule which combine the three approaches. After finishing one of these schools, you can apply for university. It's required to hold the Abitur, however, those with a Masterbrief (Master craftsman’s diploma) have also been able to apply for university since year 2009. But those wishing to attend university of applied sciences must, as a rule, hold an Abitur, the Fachhockschulriefe or a master brief. Lacking those qualifications, pupils are eligible to enter a university or university of applied sciences if they can present additional proof that they will be able to keep up with their fellow students. Although Germany has had a history of a strong educational system, recent PISA student assessments demonstrated and reminding people how educational system is not good.

But let's move a bit eastern, in Hungary. Hungarians are known as people who are speaking only their own language which you can't understand if you're not one of them. But I'm really glad that people from Hungary who are here with us are trying to speak English too, even though their first foreign language is German.  Structure in Hungary is divided into stages. First is basic first stage, elementary school, 4 year program, which last from age of 6 until 10. After finishing, there's basic second stage, also a 4 year program, which last from age 10 to 14. Those are basics which every student got to complete. Next stage is academic secondary stage which is divided in to 4 different programs. First one is gymnasium program 1, which last 4 years. Second one is gymnasium program 2, which last 5 years. The longest program is gymnasium program 3 which last for 8 years. At the end of one of those schools, students achieve Secondary School Leaving Certificate. The last program is gymnasium program 4, which last 6 years, but students enter it at age of 12. Certificate achieved is the same as in programs 1, 2 and 3. The other stage is vocational secondary stage which also last for 4 years and it's separated in two different programs. There's a vocational secondary school where pupils achieve the same certificate as in gymnasium programs. The second program is vocational, where students gain lower level vocational education certificate. After finishing one of them, education goes on. Hungarian higher education has a dual system with colleges and universities. Some colleges are associated with universities and operate as college faculties within universities. A university can also offer college level courses. The duration of training at college level is minimum 3 years, maximum 4 years; the duration of education at university level is minimum 4 years, maximum 5 years (with the exception of medical universities where it is 6 years). According to the binary pattern, colleges and universities grant College-level Degree and universities grant University-level Degree.

So if we compare this education systems, we can see some differences and also some similarities, it's based the same, but the stages are different and system is trying to divide pupils by their interests very soon, which I personally think it's really good, because you can decide for what will you educate and you can work on your dreams since being young. Systems based like that are much more successful, because they divide pupils earlier and there are less uninterested students in their schools. So, are they really all same educated? I don't think so. Although the system is quite similar and people from different countries which have achieved equal certificates, the level of knowledge is different. That fact is not just for Germany and Hungary but for every European country.


Nejc ÄŚrnko

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