American Education vs. Foreign
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Public education is in the United States of America is universally available for all. It is provided by three public sectors usually funded by the federal government, the individual state and the locals. However, a majority of American students of up to 70% lack financial resources to pay up their tuition fees in our schools. These students rely on students’ loans for their universities, the federal government or a private lender. However, a few charity institutions cover the tuition fees although scholarships are widely available. This puts into question the seriousness world’s superpower on its stand for knowledge transmission to its populace especially the youth (Warren and Eugene 1983, pp. 379).
However, the US schools lag behind compared to others of the developed countries not mentioning the third world nations in the fields of science, mathematics, and reading. The USA is ranked 37th in the world in education spending as a percentage of GDP yet it has the largest and the most technologically driven economy in the world with per capita GDP of $47, 400. With this then, why can’t education be fully funded by the federal government and leave alone the individual states and the locals to make America an equal opportunity land? This is because of the tax variation in the various states (Warren and Eugene 1983, pp. 379).
Moreover, foreign students in the US rarely get fully funded by the state. They get their funding from their families and only about 20% receive their academic funding from their colleges or universities. International student scholarships in the USA are very competitive with annual undergraduate tuition varying from state to state. It is worth noting that private schools’ tuition is much higher than public schools as they are highly specialized technical institutes. This again poses the question of equality. Is American education bridging the gap between the rich and the poor because sophisticated education facilities are becoming a preserve for the higher class who can afford high tuition in private schools for their children? This is not in the spirit of the American togetherness.
The funding of education in the USA is a complex process but the controversy arises much from the no child is left behind act which gives the department of education the USA the right to with holding funding if it believes a school , a district or even a state is not complying and is making no effort to comply. This is denies the universality of education for all and promoting the no spirit of liberalism (Rowena, November 2009).
Compared to the French education system, the French education system is highly centralized, organized and ramified with the striking feature of small size and multiplicity of establishments in more or less broad spectrum of disciplines. Higher education in France, compared to America is state funded with very low tuition fees depending on the university and the different level of education (Rowena, November 2009). Contrary to another nation like Cuba where following the 1959 revolution, the Castro government liberalized all the education institutions creating a system entirely controlled by the central government with the government expenditures on education receiving the highest priority in funding the education sector. According to UNESCO Cuba allocates 10% of its annual budget to education compared to the 2% by the US government funding and the 4% funding by the United Kingdom. This is ironical to the world’s super power laying low tentacles on education sector.
Irrespective of your class, income and your hoods, in Cuba, education is free for all at all levels. School uniforms and meals are provided for free with schools opening for close to 12 hours. There are also ‘mobile teachers’ deployed to homes with children who are unable to attend schools. Over half of teachers in Cuban primary schools have master’s degrees. This has created literacy campaigns leading to Cuba being the highest in literate levels in the world. Students and volunteers go to rural areas to teach other country men to read and provide information on current Cuban politics as rural women receive job training and schooling outside agriculture.
About 85% of parents send their children to public schools largely because of the funding. One tenth of the students are enrolled in primary schools with tax burdens by district schools varying from area to area. However parents may choose to educate their children from home with only 1.7% of the children educated in this manner. The high tax burden in schools has led to high school drop outs especially for African American male students. Do you still believe that America is still holding on as a land of opportunities for all with this inequality in education sector? No wonder in 2010, according to a report by organization for economic cooperation, American students were down in performance edging in17th rank worldwide majorly due to low end in socioeconomic scales leading to this low level of achievement (Rowena, November 2009).
The USA government has done little in education to encourage high achieving in education. The low level productivity evaluations in the academics, allowing for low comparisons in the world is per se not amusing; the USA students’ average scores in international comparisons have been below average of the developed countries. This is a slap on the flamboyant America. We need to invest in our future generations, the legacy and the love for our nation, our dream and the future. America has all it takes ahead of other nations of the world as a land of heritage to invest highly in the education sector with full funding of our education system to make this not only the bets security hub and land of opportunities but also an academic bandwagon.
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