If all good people were clever and all clever people were good, the world would be nicer than ever. I think that education is a key to a good future. And schools are the first step on the education-way. Schools help young people to choose their career, to prepare for their future life, they make pupils clever and well-educated. They give pupils the opportunity to fulfil their talent.
Education in Britain developed by steps. The first step was the introducing of two kinds of school: grammar schools and secondary modern schools. Grammar schools offered a predominantly academic education and in secondary modern schools education was more practical. The second step was the introducing of a new type of school, the comprehensive, a combination of grammar and secondary modern, so that all children could be continually assessed and given appropriate teaching. These school were co-educational and offered both academic and practical subjects. However, they lost the excellence of the old grammar schools. Then after 1979 were introduced the greatest reforms in schooling. They included the introduction of a National Curriculum making certain subjects, most notably science and one modern language, compulsory up to the age of 16. The National Curriculum aims to ensure that all children study essential subjects and have a better all-round education. Pupils' progress in subjects in National Curriculum is measured by written and practical tests. More ambitious pupils continue with very specialized studies in the sixth form. They remain at school for two years more. Pupils sit for exams leaving secondary school and sixth form. They sit for the General Certificate Secondary Education at the end of the 5th-years' course. A-level or AS-levels are taken after two years of study in the sixth form. They are the main standard for entrance to university or other higher education. Some parents prefer to pay for their children to be educated at independent schools. This private sector includes the so-called public schools, some of whose names are known all over the world, for example Eton. It provides exceptionally fine teaching facilities, for example in science, languages, computing and design. Its students are largely from aristocratic and upper-class families. The Government's vision for the education system of the 21st century is that it will neither be divisive nor based on some lowest denominator. Diversity, choice and excellence will be its hallmarks in this century.
The public educational system in Russia includes pre-schools, general schools, specialised secondary and higher education. So-called pre-schools are kindergartens in fact. Children there learn reading, writing and maths. But pre-school education isn't compulsory - children can get it at home. Compulsory education is for children from 6(7) to 17 years of age. The main branch in the system of education is the general schools which prepare the younger generation for life and work. There are various types of schools: general secondary schools, schools specialising in a certain subject, high schools, gymnasiums and so on. The term of study in a general secondary school is 11 years and consists of primary, middle and upper stages. At the middle stage of a secondary school children learn the basic laws of nature and society at the lessons of history, algebra, literature, physics and many others. After 9th form pupils have to sit for examinations. Also they have a choice between entering the 10th grade of a general secondary school or going to professional school. Pupils who finish the general secondary school, receive a secondary education certificate, giving them the right to enter any higher educational establishment. One has to study in the institute for 5 years. Higher educational institutions train students in one or several specialisations.
The American system of education differs from the systems of other countries. There are free public schools which the majority of American children attend. There are also a number or private schools where a fee is charged. Education is compulsory for every child from the age of 6 up to the age of 16 except in some states, where children must go to school until the age of 17 or 18. Elementary or primary and secondary or high schools are organized on one of two basis: 8 years of primary school and 4 years, or 6 years of primary, 3 years of junior high school and 3 years of senior high school. The junior high school is a sort of halfway between primary school and high school. The high school prepares young people either to work immediately after graduation or for more advanced study in a college or university. An important part of high school life is extra-curricular activities, they include band or school orchestra, sports and other social activities. There is no national system of higher education in the United States. Instead, there are separate institutions ranging from colleges to universities. They may be small or large, private or public, highly selective or open to all.