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Aja Bogdanoff

Online Community Manager, TED

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For non-US TEDizens: Can you tell us about your country's education system?

This week's special on American TV, "TED Talks Education," focuses on problems in US schools.

So here's the place for non-Americans to share: What's an issue in your country's education system that you'd like to see a TED Talk about? Who would you ask to speak? Do you have any success stories to share?

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    May 10 2013: Here in Ireland we have a few issues the focus is entirely on memorisation and rote learning. There is no continual assessment. Your university and college application come down to 1 final exam over 6 subjects given to you at the end of 12 years of school. No abstract views or practical experience, just 6 exams and an cumulative score across all subjects. This means is you are not good at language you may not get enough points to go learn engineering or art for example.

    This trend is continued to university level. Even a Bachelors Degree focus on the regurgitation of answers memorised for a final year exam, negating any growth or skill developed over the first 3 years. Its only at a Masters level (http://www.iihcs.com/graphics/FanDec2006.jpg), Level 9 here, where you would be on average about 22 years old that you would be actively taught and encouraged to ask why. This means we have people trying to enter the workplace on skills that they only know off by heart with out necessarily understanding them .

    Also education here is free, even college and what a gift that is, but a major issue is that due to this people do not respect their learning. People will go to college only because parents want them to and jump between courses to find whats right. This leads to massive unnecessary competition for college courses, people getting refused places and lots of 1st year drop outs. Currently its believed to be about 1 in 4 (http://www.thejournal.ie/college-drop-out-rates-revealed-40207-Oct2010/)

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