Australia is a lucky country. Blessed with beautiful beaches and full of welcoming smiles. But when it comes to learning and education, Australia might as well be in the dark ages.
The OECD Global Education Rankings Explained
If someone told you that Australia sat behind Bulgaria, Slovenia and Mexico when it came to global education standards, you might be shocked. But, it’s the truth. In the last decade Australia has continued to slip further and further down the quality education totem pole. For example, Australia sits at number 35 out of 40 OECD countries (high and middle income countries) for preschool attendance. To put that in perspective, less than 10% of Australian kids under the age of 3 are enrolled in formal childcare while the global average sits around 34%. It’s statistics like these that demonstrate just how far behind Aussies kids are in terms of learning, before they’ve even reached Kindergarten.
- 3 in 10 Australian Year 4 students aren’t meeting math standards
- It’s not all doom and gloom for Aussies though, we were ranked 21st for the scholastic performance of an average 15 year old
- There were 690,468 international students in Australia as of November 2018, mostly enrolled in higher education
- 99.9% of primary school aged kids in Australia were enrolled in school, one of the highest in the world
How We Can Improve Learning in Australia
The standard requirements needed to become a qualified teacher differ depending on the country. In Australia, a Bachelor degree is needed or a Diploma of Education. In Finland, a country with some of the highest education standards in the world, potential teachers must receive a Masters degree in education before teaching. These teachers are also given plenty of freedom to structure their classes and each student’s learning, whereas most teachers have to follow a strict curriculum.
Along with employing more experienced and qualified teachers, increasing the education budget could mean big improvements for young Aussies. Denmark, which is considered to be one of the best countries in terms of early learning, spends around 2% of their GDP on early education. In comparison, Australia spends less than 0.5%. Another aspect to consider is the high regard the teaching profession is given in some countries. For instance, Scandinavian countries see their teachers as equal to doctors and lawyers whereas in countries like the UK and the US they are seen as equal to social workers. So, perhaps in order to improve our education system within Australia we have to look to other countries who seem to have the right idea.
What are your thoughts on the education system in Australia, LiveTribers?