Comparative Education
Online ISSN : 2185-2073
Print ISSN : 0916-6785
ISSN-L : 0916-6785
Volume 2016 , Issue 53
Showing 1-14 articles out of 14 articles from the selected issue
Special Papers Comparative Perspectives on Current Changes to Japan's University Entrance Exam System
  • Reira KURIHARA
    2016 Volume 2016 Issue 53 Pages 71-92
    Published: 2016
    Released: August 29, 2020

      In the states of the former Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), the lower secondary school system has adopted a three-tier model consisting of the Gymnasium, the Realschule, and the Hauptschule (in descending order of scholastic merit). But in the 1970s, SPD-run states initiated the Gesamtschule, a comprehensive school system, by integrating all three types into one. School policies therefore remain split between the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU) that promote a traditional three-tier system and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) that promotes a comprehensive system.

      Thus, the Gesamtschule has been more widely introduced in SPD-run states rather than in CDU- or CSU-run states. School policies were again up for discussion after the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey (2000) and the United Nations (UN) investigation (2006) for the right to education outlined the German school system’s problems. Furthermore, in the 2000s, parents initiated a movement against the German parties’ school policies. Additionally, the scenario of the students’ school type choice and the numbers of each school type are changing. Therefore, German school policies are currently at a turning point.

      This paper clarifies the following: (1) school policies influenced by PISA survey results through analysis of the parties’ Bundestag election programs; (2) school policies for solving the school system’s problems as confirmed by UN investigation; and (3) analysis of education policies reflecting parents’ needs for the school system.

      First, through the analysis of manifestos for the Bundestag 2002 election, this paper confirmed that the parties’ reactions to PISA survey results and discussions on school policies differ. The PISA survey confirmed the following about the German school system: (1) Compared to students in other countries, German students’ performance was poor; (2) Students’ performance differed across the German states, and (3) A strong relationship existed between students’ social classes and their school type in the three-tier system.

      Following the publication of PISA survey results, the CDU and CSU have asserted the three-tier system’s success because student performance in CDU- and CSU-run states was better than in SPD-run states. In contrast, the SPD demanded the introduction of a comprehensive school system similar to that in other European countries with better average performances and educational equity.

      Second, this paper explains that responses to the UN investigation differed among parties, in accordance with their principles. The UN investigation report explained Germany’s educational inequalities. For example, the provision of listings of secondary school types to final-year students according to individual capabilities by primary educational institutions was recommended, leading to questions regarding the fairness of streaming. Potentially capable students from poorly educated families might not enroll in Gymnasium due to incorrect streaming recommendations, possibly due to teacher bias. Therefore, the UN report recommended abolishing the three-tier system.

      Despite this, the CDU and CSU have retained the three-tier system. However, they have also attempted to address issues relating to the three-tier system that might limit student futures. Compared to the number of graduates from other types of schools, Hauptschule graduates face narrowed prospects for enrollment in future education. In response, many of the Hauptschule have adopted a special course for high-achieving students; (View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)

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  • Yusuke NAKAJIMA
    2016 Volume 2016 Issue 53 Pages 93-115
    Published: 2016
    Released: August 29, 2020

      This paper clarifies the characteristics of two International Branch Campuses (IBCs) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE); Mohammed V University-Agdal Abu Dhabi (UM5A-Abu Dhabi) and the University of Saint Joseph-Dubai (USJ-Dubai). While IBCs in UAE have dramatically developed mainly for expatriate students, generally Emiratis prefer to study in federal universities for the perceived social well-being of Emiratis. It is said that UAE has developed as an Education Hub within the network of foreign institutions and students. However, almost all students in UM5A-Abu Dhabi and USJ-Dubai are Emiratis and it seems that these two IBCs have a theory of development different from that of an Education Hub. Clarifying the characteristics of these two IBCs will make up for the research blank and suggest the actual conditions of the regionalization of higher education in the Arab states.

      Firstly, the development of the higher education system in the UAE is investigated to clarify the systematical framework for IBCs. At the federal level, the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) was established by the federal government to approve the establishment of institutions and accredit their programs. However, Dubai established economic free zones exempt from federal regulations and IBCs in these zones can choose to be under the federal regulation or Emirati regulation. Many IBCs in free zones choose to follow the regulation of the Dubai government, but they cannot be recognized as official institutions at the federal level nor affiliate with institutions accredited by the CAA, and graduates of these IBCs sometimes cannot work in federal institutions or other Emirates. On the other hand, Abu Dhabi has developed a different education system. The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) was established as governing body for education in Abu Dhabi and makes a huge financial investment in educational infrastructure with its rich oil resources. Economic free zones do not exist in Abu Dhabi and all IBCs must follow federal regulations. The regulatory environment for IBCs is therefore different between emirates, and each emirate has initiatives for building relationships with IBCs in accordance with their respective social economic environments.

      Next, the kinds of higher education institutions (other than federal universities) that Emirati students tend to study in are analyzed. While many Emirati students in Abu Dhabi prefer to study in non-federal public institutions, private higher education institutions providing legal education, media and Arab/Islamic studies hold many Emirati students in Dubai. In the UAE, Emiratization in public and private sectors remains a social problem. Especially, Emirati students hope to work in the public sector because of better working conditions, and the labor market in the public sector needs highly skilled Emiratis.

      In addition, the developments of UM5A-Abu Dhabi and USJ-Dubai are examined in terms of their management systems and educational programs. UM5A-Abu Dhabi is the IBC of Mohammed V University-Agdal in Morocco and was established in 2009 from the partnership between the ruler of Abu Dhabi and the king of Morocco. UM5A-Abu Dhabi provides bachelor, master and doctoral programs in Islamic studies and 11 Emirati graduates in 2013 gained employment as preachers within the Abu Dhabi government. In terms of management system, UM5A-Abu Dhabi has a board of trustees which consists of UM5A professors and governmental persons in Abu Dhabi. While UM5A has the initiative in academics, ADEC holds the initiative in administration and finance. Students do not pay tuition fees and they get scholarships from the financial assistance of the ADEC. UM5A-Abu Dhabi provides programs in Islamic studies to foster Emirati preachers and focuses on Islamic research and the practice of preaching. (View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)

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    2016 Volume 2016 Issue 53 Pages 116-137
    Published: 2016
    Released: August 29, 2020

      This study clarifies the logic of guardians’ choice of pre-primary education in Bangladesh, focusing on the influence of expectations for school education and views of child-rearing. In this study, “guardian” means mother or grandmother who cares for the child. “Expectations for school education” means the recognition that school education is a necessary and important determinant of children’s future.

      Early childhood care and education (ECCE) is now seen as an important field in the world because it may contribute to reduce poverty and achieve universal primary education. Efforts are being made in education policy to try to expand pre-primary education as part of ECCE. Previous studies examine the way to expand pre-primary education, but little research has been done about parents’ active choice. It is necessary to understand from the beneficiary’s perspective how pre-primary education is expanded because ECCE has a strong connection with child-rearing and the view of children in each country. Therefore, this study focuses on guardians’ choice of pre-primary education. Recently, the Bangladesh government rapidly instituted some policies governing pre-primary education. The most noteworthy work is that the government introduced pre-primary education to the formal education system as a one year program for five-year-old children in 2010. Since then, most public primary schools (GPS) have introduced free pre-primary classes. As a result, the net enrollment rate has increased notably from 10.9% (2008) to 40.4% (2013).

      Pre-primary education is, however, not compulsory education. Therefore, guardians can make decisions as to whether or not they send children to pre-primary education. Should they decide to send their children, they may choose one of a number of pre-primary schools. Nath (2006) and CAMPE (2014) revealed that parents think a five-year-old child is too young to go to school. In this respect, it estimates that pre-primary education has some conflict with their view of child-rearing. On the other hand, it is said that Bangladesh has entered “the era of education”. People have strong expectations for school education even if they live in rural areas or are poor. In this sense, pre-primary education expands parental expectations of school education for young children.

      In light of the above, this study focuses on the negotiation between guardians’ expectations for school education and their views of child-rearing in order to clarify the logic of guardians’ choice of pre-primary education; to send children or not, and school choice. Fieldwork was carried out twice in Saidpur Tana in 2015. Interviews were conducted among twenty-nine guardians (mothers) who have children aged three to six and send them to pre-primary education, and forty-one guardians (thirty-eight mothers and three grandmothers) who have children aged five to six but do not send them.

      Before focusing on case studies, Section 1 provides this study’s framework for analysis. The view of “allo-mothering” is quoted in this framework. According to the view of allo-mothering, this study defines “the view of child-rearing” as the relationship among three factors; guardians’ perception of their role, their perception of children’s abilities or childhood, and their perception of the school environment. Expectations for school education are then contrasted to respective views of child-rearing.

      In Section 2, this study shows the situation of mothers and children within the social cultural context of Bangladesh. Bangladesh society has a strong norm that mothers have a responsibility for child-rearing. Within “the era of education”, if parents have even just a little money to spare, they want to send their children to private schools rather than free public schools because they believe private schools are better. (View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)

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    2016 Volume 2016 Issue 53 Pages 138-159
    Published: 2016
    Released: August 29, 2020

      The state ensures education for all its children regardless of their special educational needs (SEN); this is especially true of primary education, which is the fundamental type of educational institution. Further, SEN has attracted much international attention, particularly in the case of inclusive education for children with disabilities. Vietnam has made great strides in the dissemination of primary education, including the establishment of educational institutions. Since it has achieved universalization of primary education, the government promotes inclusive education throughout the country. However, as educational resources are scarce and institutions are inadequate in Vietnam, the following question arises: how does Vietnam ensure primary education for children with disabilities? This study aims to answer this question by analyzing the educational institutions implementing inclusive education. The study relies on a theoretical framework comprising the state and society; considers institutions to be artificial norms of people’s activities; and separates institutions into two categories, formal and informal.

      According to the existing literature on Vietnamese education, the primary education provided by the government is insufficient; hence, local people voluntarily involve themselves in educational activities to support schools. Vietnam has adopted a strategy known as Socialization of Education to mobilize educational resources in local communities and from outside the state. Previous studies focus on the static characteristics of formal institutions, ignoring those of the informal ones, and shed little light on the dynamics between formal and informal institutions. The Vietnamese educational framework is a dual-track system: it comprises general education and continuing education, both of which are controlled by the government, and inclusive education is implemented only as part of general education. Educational statistics show that the number of children with disabilities has increased significantly since the 1990s, and inclusive education has led to the expansion of formal education. In addition, although the government monitors inclusive education, there is leeway to coordinate its implementation at the local school level.

      However, several parents narrate how regular schools refuse to accept children with disabilities. By analyzing the alternative educational activities of parents, considered as informal institutions, this study considers three categories. First, a nonprofit, small class is conducted for children with disabilities. It is run by parents who, themselves, have such children; however, it does not guarantee access to regular schools. Second, the number of people-founded centers, which provide education and medical intervention, has been increasing in Vietnam following the implementation of the Socialization of Education policy as it promotes privatization. However, their management remains unstable, due in partial to their profit-making policy. Third, private tutoring, although considered illegal, is popular in Vietnam and contributes to the education of children with disabilities.

      There are two thresholds with respect to formal institutions. The first was established in 1991, when the law on the universalization of primary education was issued and the full-scale inclusive education project was launched. These policies intended the expansion of opportunities for children with disabilities to study in primary schools. The second threshold was established in 2006, when the Ministry of Education and Training issued Decision No. 16, which regulated a uniform curriculum for all children, and Decision No. 23, which pursued countrywide inclusive education. The latter meant that all children, including those with disabilities, must have equal and formal access to education. (View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)

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