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Poland have the 3rd best Education System of Europe


Levi_BR 6 | 220
14 May 2015  #1
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published its biggest-ever league table of educational attainment in 76 countries, which for the first time includes under-developed and developing nations, as well as richer states.

Poland came in the 9th position overall.

That means that Poland have the 3rd best basic education system of WHOLE EUROPE, just after Estonia and Finland. (Britain?France? Those hyped countries are FAR BELOW Poland). Also, Poland have the 3rd best education of the ENTIRE Western World.

In my understanding, this happens because Poland have the perfect combination of:

1 - A developed education system.

2 - A Country with morale and values (maybe that is because Great Britain scored so low, even with good schools. The political correctness and lack of values damaged the society and kids feel that they don't need to study anymore.)

3 - At Poland people NEED to study or they will have bad lifes. (And this is a GREAT incentive. Today i live in a rich oil monarchy in Arabia that is at one of the bottom places at this ranking. Here people have money to study but most of the native population just don't care for education, since they use the government as ATM machine, and stay uneducated while driving a Maseratti)

Ranking
DominicB - | 2,645
15 May 2015  #2
Secondary education in Poland is indeed quite good, but for some reasons you didn't list:

1) There is only one school system that is centrally administered and funded. Private secondary schools are a rarity. There is no equivalent of local school boards as they exist in the US.

2) Culturally homogeneous school-age population: there are few ethnic or immigrant communities in Poland, as such as exist are quite small indeed. While Poland as a whole is poorer than the US, there is no large population of severely disadvantaged youth as there is in the US and other developed countries. There are no rich or poor school districts, as there are in the US. The only major problem I am aware of is education of the small Gypsy population, especially females, who drop out of the system at a very young age.

3) Low violent crime rate and low usage of cocaine, the plagues of cities in the US and the West. Cocaine is just too expensive for Poles to afford.

4) Low level of rigid tracking, as it exists in Germany, for example. The "Realschule" has been eliminated, and students are almost all tracked to "Gymnasium" (German, not Polish) and prepared to take the Matura (similar to Abitur). Most students get a pretty decent math background, especially those in the math and sciences profiles.

5) All educational decisions are made by qualified professionals working for the centralized Ministry of Education, and not by parents or unqualified local politicians. Centralized exams make it easier to identify weak schools and correct the problems quickly. Correction is overseen by the central authority, and not by local interests.

6) Lack of anti-science or anti-intellectual religious sentiment as is common in the US. There are no creationists. This is in spite of the fact that the second largest religion in Poland are the Jehova's Witnesses, who have a rabid anti-intellectual and anti-educational streak in the US, but apparently not in Poland.

7) Reading canonical Polish literature is emphasized.

8) Most of the older generation (parents) had received a good secondary education, so they are able to help their progeny. There is not a large underclass of uneducated, trans-generationally disadvantaged illiterate social misfits, drop-outs and outcasts as there is in the United States.

Problems with the system include:

1) Shocking lack of practical laboratory courses in the sciences. I've had students who had never done a single experiment in science class, just watched a demonstration. Funding for this is very, very low.

2) Lack of civil involvement and volunteer programs for young people. This was a big problem for my students who wanted to study in the US, and required a good deal of creativity to solve.

3) Practically no corporate or industry involvement in the educational system.

4) The system is very good for average students, not bad at all for underachievers, but not inspiring for top students, who get little attention and have to fend for themselves.

5) English teaching is carried out as a foreign language, not a second language. While students are expected to read a prodigious amount of literature in Polish, they are not encouraged to read any literature at all in English.

6) Cheating is rampant and not taken as a serious problem, and there are few safeguards against it as there are in the US.

7) Religious education in public schools is a scandalous racket that is fundamentally morally corrupt. It is a great blot on the whole educational system.

8) There is little in the way of aptitude testing or career/academic counseling. Many high school grads end up in worthless university programs because they have not received proper guidance.

9) The curriculum is designed for students to pass the Matura exam, which is only a weak predictor of academic success. Rote learning is emphasized over more holistic approaches that emphasize independence. Good for average students and underachievers, but bad for gifted and ambitious students.

10) Overall, gifted and ambitious students with a broad world-view are overlooked, ignored or even discouraged, either passively or actively.

While most private schools and the best public schools in the US are generally better than Polish schools, the overall average in Poland is higher. Tertiary education is a whole nuther story, though, and is generally inferior in Poland compared to the West.

A Country with morale and values. The political correctness and lack of values damaged the society and kids feel that they don't need to study anymore

This is, plain and simple, right wing conservative claptrap. Stop watching the O'Reilly factor and get your facts from more reliable sources. The Polish educational system is much more progressive than you think. Also, the generational cultural gap in Poland is huge in Poland compared to Western countries, with Polish millennials resembling their Western counterparts far more than their elders.

At Poland people NEED to study or they will have bad lifes. (And this is a GREAT incentive.

Largely true. But also from the parents perspective in that they will have a bad life unless they have children that earn well. This encourages parents to motivate their children to do well. Not to the degree that you see in Japan or Korea, but more than the average in the West. Also, education is still seen as a way from "escaping" from Poland. Even for young people who decide to stay in Poland, having an education that facilitates finding work in the West is very comforting.
jon357 64 | 14,382
15 May 2015  #3
Until the cheating problems are solved, no statistic on education in Poland is reliable.
Polsyr 6 | 771
15 May 2015  #4
Good analysis by DominicB.
Harry
15 May 2015  #5
low usage of cocaine, the plagues of cities in the US and the West. Cocaine is just too expensive for Poles to afford.

Yes but, amphetamines (the poor man's cocaine) are cheap and widely available. And that drug has a direct effect on education here: I know lots of people who, when they were students, would take amphetamines so they could stay up all night (or even for two nights) memorising things before their exams.

6) Cheating is rampant and not taken as a serious problem, and there are few safeguards against it as there are in the US.

The cheating problem is starting to get better and plagiarism is also being cracked down on. Although that is having unexpected side effects: a friend of mine is an American lawyer who has worked here for the best part of two decades, he says that the latest generation of graduates don't know how to copy-paste properly, because they don't do it at school (as their work is run through plagiarism detection software), while the previous generation were excellent at using copy-paste.

7) Religious education in public schools is a scandalous racket that is fundamentally morally corrupt. It is a great blot on the whole educational system.

It is an utter disgrace.
DominicB - | 2,645
15 May 2015  #6
Good analysis by DominicB.

Thanks.

Yes but, amphetamines (the poor man's cocaine) are cheap and widely available.

True, but not to the degree that I saw or see in the US.

The cheating problem is starting to get better and plagiarism is also being cracked down on.

Also true. For example, the Rektor of the Medical School in Wrocław was found to have plagiarized. And agree about the generational difference as well. Millennials have a much stronger moral compass than their elders, for whom kombinowanie and cwaniactwo were virtues, if not essential survival skills. I generally HATED teaching people educated during communist times because so many of them were fundamentally and incurably intellectually dishonest to the point where they were incapable of actually learning anything.

It is an utter disgrace.

Indeed it is.
OP Levi_BR 6 | 220
15 May 2015  #7
2) Culturally homogeneous school-age population: there are few ethnic or immigrant communities in Poland, as such as exist are quite small indeed. While Poland as a whole is poorer than the US, there is no large population of severely disadvantaged youth as there is in the US and other developed countries.

That is a very good point that i missed.

This is, plain and simple, right wing conservative claptrap. Stop watching the O'Reilly factor

So you say that the fact that Poland have more morale and values than other European countries doesn't interfere, right?

Values and Morale bring discipline. Look at the top countries: Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Poland. Ireland.

Now look how extremelly low are "Atheist countries" where virtually all value and morale were replaced by political correctness.

Sweden: Worse than Russia.

France: Under Czech Republic

United Kingdom: Well below Latvia or any major asian country.

Why? Because in Sweden, France or United Kingdom the political correctness patrols doesn't allow parents to discipline their kids accordingly. And the values of the society are gone on those countries.

7) Religious education in public schools is a scandalous racket that is fundamentally morally corrupt.

Put prejudices aside and see, again, how atheist education systems scored welll below Poland.

The so called atheist systems of France, England or Sweden are a tremendous failure of underachieved students.

Now look at the performance of the only two countries in the UE that have Religion Classes: Ireland and Poland.
Harry
15 May 2015  #8
Also true. For example, the Rektor of the Medical School in Wrocław was found to have plagiarized.

I was recently reading some (quite a lot actually) of feedback from college lecturers from around the EU who have taken part in an exchange program organised by an EU agency. Would you care to guess the nationality of the lecturers who had plagiarised their feedback?

Now look at the performance of the only two countries in the UE that have Religion Classes: Ireland and Poland.

When you don't know anything about a subject, it's best not to try to talk down to people who know a lot about it (helpful hint for you: in Poland religious education classes are optional, in other EU countries, such as the UK you think to be damaged by political correctness and lack of values, religious education classes are mandatory).
teargas - | 72
15 May 2015  #9
France: Under Czech Republic

Slight problem. Czech society is one of the most secular in Europe, while French society is still heavily Catholic.
Roger5 1 | 1,463
15 May 2015  #10
My Polish wife never attended Religious Education classes at school. She is unindoctrinated. I, on the other hand, was thoroughly indoctrinated, first by barely sane Irish nuns, and then by perpetually ill-humoured Marist fathers. Guess who is the more balanced of the two of us.
OP Levi_BR 6 | 220
15 May 2015  #11
Yes, it is party of the discussion since we are comparing why the Polish Educational system is so succesfull when compared to failures like French or English system.

By the way, if you use Google Chrome, it translates automatically French to English if you want. And pretty accuratelly.
Harry
15 May 2015  #12
we are comparing why the Polish Educational system is so succesfull when compared to failures like French or English system.

One big difference between the English system and the Polish system is that in the UK religious education classes are mandatory, while in Poland they are optional.

Interesting that you consider an educational system which can't get any of its universities into the top 300 worldwide to be 'so succesfull', while an educational system which gets two of its universities into the top five worldwide is to you a 'failure'.
Roger5 1 | 1,463
15 May 2015  #13
Levi, do you actually have any experience of the Polish education system, or the "failed" British system? I'm having difficulty in reconciling the reality I know with your blind prejudice.
johnny reb 16 | 3,501
15 May 2015  #14
in the UK religious education classes are mandatory, while in Poland they are optional.

Harry are you saying that religion classes are optional in the Catholic schools in Poland ?
That is very interesting Harry, who would have thought that about English schools. Good for them.
Here in the United States of America ALL religion classes have been banned in the public schools thanks
to the liberals. Ever since they demmanded that this country has gone down hill.
The private schools can do as they wish.
Marsupial - | 907
15 May 2015  #15
It may be decent but I don't know how you account for the frog and pom system to be a failure. ?????
Levi 13 | 451
15 May 2015  #16
"Interesting that you consider an educational system which can't get any of its universities into the top 300 "

It is so obvious that we are talking about elementary and high school, that this comparison that you made is ridiculous.

By the way, yeah, britain have two universities in the top 5 but those that study there are not from the failed public education system of english. They are from Eaton and alikes.

Same thing applies for my country. Brazil have 2 universities in the top 200. Poland have none. But in those 2 universities just ultra rich people or extremelly gifted ones (like me) study. The normal student from the public system will never enter there. Same applies to england.

Meanwhile the public student from Poland is much above in terms of quality compared to the public school student from the english system.
teargas - | 72
15 May 2015  #17
Harry are you saying that religion classes are optional in the Catholic schools in Poland ?

There are very, very few Catholic schools, and those that exist are struggling badly for numbers. They also have quite poor results in general.

Levi, do you actually have any experience of the Polish education system, or the "failed" British system? I'm having difficulty in reconciling the reality I know with your blind prejudice.

It certainly doesn't seem as if he has much knowledge of either system.

I would personally agree that the centralisation of Polish education in schools is exactly why it's such a success. The same centralisation is seen in many other successful countries such as Finland, while decentralised education tends to result in huge regional variances. Polish university education is widely acknowledged to be poor, and this is also a direct result of the Communists allowing universities to have significant autonomy.

Levi, as for France, do you really know anything about public life in France? The Catholic Church managed to put 800,000 people on the streets of Paris against abortion, which sounds like a pretty powerful institution to me.
Harry
15 May 2015  #18
Harry are you saying that religion classes are optional in the Catholic schools in Poland ?

Religious education classes are optional in all schools in Poland.

By the way, yeah, britain have two universities in the top 5 but those that study there are not from the failed public education system of english. They are from Eaton and alikes.

Please stop displaying your utter ignorance of all things about the educations systems of Europe: Eton is a public school.

Meanwhile the public student from Poland is much above in terms of quality compared to the public school student from the english system.

Does that explain why there are 13,447 British students at Oxford university and only 207 Polish students?
XxxYyy - | 7
15 May 2015  #19
I'm afraid you are seriously exaggerating with the influence of the religious classes on the education system. In my high school only 6 out of 28 students attended that lessons and most of my friends attend the mass only during weddings and funerals! It's not the point.

Indeed our education system is pretty good and the general knowladge of Polish people is pretty good. During my student's exchange I was shocked when I noticed how little people know, exactly when I noticed they didn't know anything. French people who about French Revolution knew it had been, Italian who asked me if Poland was near Japan, the residents of Strasbourg, who has never ever heard about European Court of Human Rights, but I don't think it's caused only by poor education system. Arrogance is the biggest problem: "I don't know, I don't care", that's their attitide. British and French were the world superpower, since the colonialism they have been convinced they are better because they are French/ English and such way of thinking still exists, not so direct and a bit covered by the political correctness, but still the poverty for the general public is connected with the immigration: "north Paris is poor because it's an immigrants district" nobody says it's poor because it's a district of uneducated people. The British/French students don't need to prove anything, they don't feel social pressure to be educated, being French/English is enought, the same is with Sweden it hasn't been a colonial power, but it has always been one of the strongest countries in the Scandinavia.
johnny reb 16 | 3,501
15 May 2015  #20
Does that explain why there are 13,447 British students at Oxford university and only 207 Polish students?@ Harry

Money talks as usual. The pampered always get the best which doesn't always mean they are the most brilliant.

Arrogance is the biggest problem: "I don't know, I don't care", that's their attitide.

You nailed it buddy.
Same way here in the United States.
Attitude is, "why should I care, it has no effect on my life to make a difference."
They are clueless where Poland is located or who the vice president of The United States is but can
tell you who Michael Jordon is and how to get a free government cell phone.
I am totally impressed with the Polish public education system over the United States by far.
Universities may be a different story because I don't think Poland has the private sector that donates millions upon millions of USD every year (tax write offs) to build and operate them like the United States does.
Harry
15 May 2015  #21
Money talks as usual. The pampered always get the best which doesn't always mean they are the most brilliant.

Not really. Tony Blair's son failed to get into Oxford (a rejection validated by the second class degree he got at Bristol university in the end) and it's not as if that family is short of cash or connections. I wonder which Polish university would reject the son or daughter of a Polish PM or president.
OP Levi_BR 6 | 220
15 May 2015  #22
he British/French students don't need to prove anything, they don't feel social pressure to be educated,

Exactly! Because the political correctness left-wing troops from those countries convinced everyone that kids should not suffer pressure to be educated or they will have traumas (WHAT A JOKE!!!!)

In Poland there is no Left-Wing Political Correctness so this is inexistent. The parents of my polish friends crushed them HARD if they had bad grades at school.

Nowadays one of them is studing at MIT. What a Trauma... hahaha

Same applies to those countries from Asia (Japan, Singapore, Korea): If the kid fails at school there, the parents will make the kid have a bad time. So the kids make their best effort in school and them become educated and successful.

Universities may be a different story because I don't think Poland has the private sector that donates millions upon millions of USD every year (tax write offs) to build and operate them like the United States does.

That is a very good point. Now that Poland is a capitalist country, soo those that are more talented will start to earn real money (some of them already do). So maybe soon Polish Universities should establish a way to receive donations.

When (and if) i get rich, i will easily donate money to my university. And i think that most people would do the same.
johnny reb 16 | 3,501
15 May 2015  #23
I wonder which Polish university would reject the son or daughter of a Polish PM or president.

Same in the U.S.A. Harry as all the filthy rich Congressmen's children get student loans from the government
to attend just about any college of their choice as dad and mom are alumni.
The loop hole is that Congressmen's children ARE NOT required to pay those loans back like the less
fortunate kids are until the day they die.
Those loans of the less fortunate if not pad back will be taken out of their social security when they turn 65 until it is paid back.

So wealth has a lot to do with who and who does not get entry to a major university rather than brilliance.
Chelsey Clinton is a prime example of this. Yikes ! lol
XxxYyy - | 7
15 May 2015  #24
Of course we can't evaluate schools and universities on the basis on the same factors, because we expect different things from the high school graduetes and other from the Univerisity graduates! High school students should have broad general knowlagde, while University students whould have deep, specialized knowladge based which they would be able to create new ideas on!

As for Polish universities, of course there are such obstacles like lack of money, the fact that majority of Universities work in Polish and Poland as a country is not the most attractive place all over the world, because of all of that we are not really able to attract the best researchers of the world so we should not expect our univerisities to be in top 10 or even 20 but we surely should expect them to be in the top 300, they are not because of the wrong selection. At the universities there is purely feudal system, the professor is a lord and assistents are his/her vassels, nobody expect from them to be creative, curious, clever, passionate, they are expected to be obiedent and repeat the professor thesis as precisely as possible, but without critical thinking, without permanent overthrowing the old thesis and creating the new there is no progress, no science, no development.
teargas - | 72
15 May 2015  #25
Money talks as usual. The pampered always get the best which doesn't always mean they are the most brilliant.

Again, what experience do you have of the European educational system?

Oxford and Cambridge place heavy, heavy emphasis on the person rather than the background. Poland has huge problems with volunteering (rates are among the lowest, if not the lowest in Europe), while the typical applicant to Oxbridge would be expected to have significant amounts of volunteering experience. There would also be expectations of taking part in/leading a student society, which again isn't particularly common in Polish schools. A part time job in summer would also be helpful, which is positively discouraged among middle class Polish families with children that have aspirations to go to Oxford. Instead, those families are likely to send their children on some sort of paid volunteering trip, which would be looked at very negatively.

When (and if) i get rich, i will easily donate money to my university. And i think that most people would do the same.

Unthinkable in Poland. Universities here are seen as something to be suffered, and every student will have stories of sheer university incompetence.

A friend's girlfriend can't defend her thesis in one university here. Why? She's the only girl on the course, and the professor responsible for her defence thinks that women shouldn't be there. He is simply refusing to give a date for the defence, and because he's a professor, he's untouchable.
johnny reb 16 | 3,501
15 May 2015  #26
Oxford and Cambridge place heavy, heavy emphasis on the person rather than the background.

And M.I.T. is just the opposite so what experience do you have with American universities ?
M.I.T.'s emphisis is on putting a guy on mars not how to fold a napkin properly.

and because he's a professor, he's untouchable.

Kind of like jon here on HIS Polish Forum.
teargas - | 72
15 May 2015  #27
Who mentioned anything about American universities?

Polish universities couldn't care less about putting a man on Mars. Getting Professor Kowalski's grandson through university even though he's a retard, well, that's far more important.

It's a shame, because the schooling system is very good.
Cardno85 31 | 976
16 May 2015  #28
helpful hint for you: in Poland religious education classes are optional, in other EU countries, such as the UK you think to be damaged by political correctness and lack of values, religious education classes are mandatory

Religious classes have only recently become optional in Poland, and if you don't take that you have to an Ethics class instead. Religious education in the UK is not some Catholic Church mandated curriculum, but instead a study of many religions. It should be mandatory to learn about all religions.
teargas - | 72
16 May 2015  #29
No, they have been optional ever since their introduction into schools at the beginning of the 1990's.

Ethics classes are supposed to be offered, but the reality is that religion classes are often scheduled for the end of the school day, and thus students are free to leave school if they don't attend. The actual provision of ethics classes is scandalously low.
johnny reb 16 | 3,501
16 May 2015  #30
Who mentioned anything about American universities?@teargas

Well I thought it only fair since you mentioned English universities plus the original
thread mentioned

Poland have the 3rd best education of the ENTIRE Western World.

The entire Western World is not limited to England and Germany as much as some want it to be.
The Polish high school students that have immigrated to the U.S. that I have met seem much much further ahead of the American students especially in math and manners.


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