Educational Institutions and Formal Education
A school is an educational establishment designed to offer learning environments and learning spaces for the education of children under the guidance of qualified teachers. Generally, all states have systems of public elementary schooling, which may be required by law. In such systems, children progress through a sequence of primary schools before graduating into junior high school. A high school student then moves on to college or university. All states require that students obtain a diploma from an accredited school before they are legally permitted to take the GED test.
Many parents in industrialized countries choose to send their young children to formal schools instead of providing them with the academic education they need through home schooling. There are many good formal schools around the world, especially in Europe and the United States. Such schools are highly regulated, have large numbers of students and offer a variety of subjects including art, physical science, reading, humanities, science, health, and social sciences. The curriculum is supervised by qualified teachers and follows a specific code of conduct. Most such schools have their own facilities and employ experienced instructors.
Parents who prefer to send their young children to informal schools, i.e., schools without a solid curriculum, can look into sending their children to vocational schools or private secondary schools. Vocational schools generally refer to junior schools that provide special training to students who have not passed the normal secondary school curriculum. In countries where the school system does not operate as a traditional institution, vocational schools tend to be co-ed, and so have separate facilities for boys and girls.
Private schools are available in almost every country, although not all developed countries have private schools. However, there are some developing countries such as China and Vietnam that have a growing number of private schools, as the children of the poor are often sent to them as well. In developed countries, many parents choose to send their children to co-ed or mixed schools, as they feel that it offers a more balanced learning environment. This allows both boys and girls to experience a wide range of educational opportunities. In addition, some developing countries offer scholarships for low-income mothers and their children.
Primary schools are the primary institutions in which children experience the basic education. These days, primary schools are increasingly providing the opportunities that exist at secondary schools, with more opportunities for girls than boys. Often, girls are further encouraged to pursue higher education after secondary school. Primary school can either be public or private, depending on the local context. A primary school may have different set up as well as different levels of enrolment: for primary school students, the admission requirements may be different from those of the secondary school students.
Secondary school offers students a chance to improve their knowledge and skill sets by obtaining formal education. Some students prefer to continue their education through tertiary education. If a student completes a formal education program and wishes to study further, he/she should opt for a university. A university is a specialized educational institution, and like secondary schools, has its own set up of procedures and structure. Many universities accept students from any background but normally prefer candidates who belong to the economically privileged sector of the society.