Through the help of various non-profit foundations and intergovernmental economic organizations that strive to monitor and boost economic and educational progress, annual researches about the education levels and attainments of each country have been made possible. While there are a lot of related factors to consider such as the specialization of of each country’s tertiary education (college and university) system and number of academic years, this list focuses solely on education levels of the countries whose education systems are renowned for quality and excellence. It provides the percentage of those who attend and complete primary, secondary, and tertiary education and at what cost. The following list is made possible by data gathered from 2017 to 2018 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Top 11 countries with the most excellent education levels:
Japan. One of the leading countries when it comes to science and mathematics, Japanese students spend six years in primary school, three years apiece for junior and senior high school, before they make their decision whether they want to pursue a university degree.
New Zealand. The country’s government is hugely involved in the education of its citizens. The state funds about 80% of the country’s schools. Primary education starts at age 5 and secondary education ends at 19 and from age 6 to 16, it is enforced. Private schools educate only approximately 3% of the population.
Barbados. The government is incredibly concerned with education, resulting in a 99% literacy rate, one of the highest in the world. Primary school starts early, at age 4. Secondary education is mandatory from age 11 to 18. Almost all schools are run by the state.
Ireland. In another case of heavy government investment in education, primary and secondary education in Ireland is free. While there are many private schools, they are partially funded by the state. When it comes to tertiary education, government agencies provide grants in universities. Vocational schools are also free.
Estonia. The Estonian government allots 4% of its gross domestic product (GDP) to education. In what is arguably one of the most complete education systems in the world, academics is not the only focus. The education system emphasizes personality development, domestic and international economic and political awareness, and cultural sensitivity.
Qatar. The only Middle Eastern country in the list, Qatar in the past several years has become a global player by way of its ever-improving education system. All education levels are free to Qatari citizens and most private schools cater only to children of foreign nationals.
Netherlands. The quality of education enjoyed by the Dutch is similar to that of Estonians. A well-rounded primary education is composed of academics, personality enhancement, learning of the arts, and physical education. Academics become strict come secondary level. Due to its multicultural population, Dutch schools are categorized in three: the secular schools, the religious schools, and the private schools.
Singapore. The Singaporean education system produces academic performers consistently. Conscious in its approach, it has, however, built a disciplinarian image. Singaporean students perform exceptionally well because of the pressure of high and difficult standards and expectations.
Switzerland. Since its people are divided into three according to language spoken (French, German, Italian), these three languages are the medium of instruction. The primary and secondary education system is state-run. Secondary education, while state-run, categorizes students by ability. Private schools educate less than 5% of the population.
Belgium. The country’s primary education is one of the best in the world. Even better is the categorization of its secondary schools: technical, vocational, education, and art. This system makes it possible for students to determine the field they wish to pursue after high school graduation. Education, whether public or private is either free or almost free from the age of 4 to 18.
Finland. Hailed as the best education system in the world, Finnish students do not have categorizations at all. All students, both in primary and secondary levels, go through the same curriculum. Thus, learning gap is avoided because the brightest students are taught with the underperforming ones, almost always resulting in an atmosphere that encourages academic excellence. Balance is also exercised because the Finnish education system does not have a strict homework policy and believes in the importance of education at home.
These countries have the best education systems in the world for two years running now. If there is one common factor involved, it is the hands-on approach of their governments to ensure that education remains accessible to all citizens.