Education in Bedistan
Public education in Bedistan starts at the age of five and is structured in such a way that ideally, all students are adequately prepared for their chosen profession by the time they complete school. The drawback to this is that a student must make a career decision relatively early in life.
Elementary school consists of the first six years of formal education, which are named, unsurprisingly, Grades One through Six. Elementary education is very general, as all students are exposed to a wide spectrum of subjects, including math, science, English, foreign languages, and social studies. The elementary school day lasts seven hours, including a 30-minute lunch break and a 30-minute physical activity break.
In Grades One through Three, each student has one teacher, who teaches the student each of the four basic disciplines (math, science, English, and social studies) for one hour each every day. Specialized foreign language teachers teach the students a foreign language for one hour each every day. In Grade One, the language is Spanish. In Grade Two, German is taught. In Grade Three, Classical Greek is taught. The activity for the remaining hour varies from day to day, with common subjects being music and computer education among others, all taught by specialized teachers.
In Grades Four through Six, each student has two teachers. One teaches math and science, while the other teaches English and social studies. Students spend two hours with each teacher every day, and each teacher is encouraged to split class time 50/50 between his or her two specialized subjects. Each student still takes one hour of foreign language, but he or she now gets to choose the language. Common choices are French, Pacitalian, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, and Chinese. In Grade Six only, a student also has the option of taking a second year of a language that he or she has already taken. Therefore, by Grade Six, every student will have been exposed to at least six languages, including English, and possibly seven. The activity for the remaining hour of the school day functions the same as in Grades One through Three.
At the end of Grade Six, each student makes a decision regarding his or her middle school track. Students who plan to eventually go on to university choose the university-bound track, while those who do not choose the career-bound track. The seven-hour school day (including a 30-minute lunch break) includes classes that are determined by which track the student is on.
Middle school lasts for three years consisting of Grades Seven through Nine.
Students on the university-bound track take Algebra I, English VII, Provincial Studies, and Science VII in Grade Seven. The remaining two slots (all classes are one hour long) have some flexibility, though not a whole lot. For the three years of middle school, each student is required to take three units of foreign language, two units of fine arts, and one unit of physical education. The foreign languages must be continuations of languages taken in elementary school, and at least two of the three units must be the same language. Therefore, depending on the student's preference, every university-bound student will have had three to five years of at least one foreign language (possibly even three years of two languages) before proceeding to high school. In Grade Eight, required classes are Geometry, English VIII, World History I, and Biology I. In Grade Nine, required classes are Algebra II, English IX, Bedistani History, and Earth Science.
Students on the career-bound track take General Math VII, English VII, Science VII, and Career Prep I in Grade Seven. The remaining portion of the day is open, though with limitations. All career-bound students are required to have two units of foreign language, two units of fine arts, and two units of physical education during their three-year stay in middle school.
In Grade Eight, students take English VIII and Career Prep II. The two "open" classes can be used for: optional math (Algebra I), optional science (Biology I), optional Provincial Studies, or additional units of foreign language or fine arts.
In Grade Nine, the only mandated class is Career Prep III. The three "open" classes can be used for: optional math (Algebra I or Geometry), optional science (Biology I or Earth Science), optional geography/history (Provincial Studies or World History I) or optional English (English IX). In addition, a student can take Career Prep IV (how this is done: the student takes two hours of CP III the first semester and then two hours of CP IV the second semester) or Military Science I.
At the end of Grade Nine, a student may choose to switch from one track to the other. This is done by means of the University-Bound and Career-Bound High School Placement Tests. If a student passes the test with a score of 700 (on a scale of 100 to 1000), he or she is allowed to switch tracks, but will be required to take extra classes in order to do so.
High school lasts for four years consisting of Grades Ten through Thirteen.
Students entering the University-Bound track by means of scoring at least 700 on the University-Bound High School Placement Test will be required to take extra classes for the first year of high school. In Grade Ten, a student must complete Algebra II, English IX, and Bedistani History (plus any prerequisites) if he or she has not already done so, in addition to completing all classes required for Grade Ten by the student's specialization.
At the beginning of Grade Ten, each student must select an area to specialize in during high school. There are seven areas of specialization available for the university-bound student:
- Biology and environmental sciences
- Physical sciences
- Foreign language of the student's choice
- Social studies
- Fine arts
Classes required for graduation depend on the student's specialization. With the exceptions of Foreign Language and Fine Arts, there are seven available classes in each specialization. The Foreign Language cluster includes levels IV through IX of every available language (meaning a student is required to have taken at least three years of their chosen language previously), in addition to levels I through IV of each language's literature. The Fine Arts cluster includes levels I through IV of Band, Chorus, and Visual Arts. Students are required to take at least six classes in their specialization, at least two classes in every other specialization, and at least two "miscellaneous" classes (including Computer Science I and II, Physical Education, and Military Science I). Students take seven classes per year, for a total of twenty-eight, not including any additional classes needed as a result of a track switch.
Students entering the Career-Bound track by means of scoring at least 700 on the Career-Bound High School Placement Test will be required to take extra classes for the first year of high school. In Grade Ten, a student must complete Career Prep II (plus any prerequisites) if he or she has not already done so, in addition to completing all classes required for Grade Ten by the student's specialization. The student must then complete Career Prep IV (plus prerequisites) by the end of Grade Eleven.
At the beginning of Grade Ten, each student must select an area to specialize in during high school. There are nine areas of specialization available for the career-bound student:
- Computer tech
- Public service
- Architecture and design
- Energy and resources
If none of these specializations suits the student, he or she may continue with general career training, though this is typically not advised.
All students must complete Career Prep IV in Grade Ten if they have not already done so (with exceptions made for students transferring from the University-Bound track as above). Like the University-Bound students, Career-Bound students must pass a total of twenty-eight classes. Students must take at least eight courses in their chosen specialization, at least one in every other career-bound specialization, at least two units of Physical Education, and must complete a foreign language through at least level V. Students must also take Career Prep V, VI, and VII sometime during their high school career. General career trainees will take Career Prep levels V through XII.
After completing Grade Thirteen, University-Bound graduates will almost always proceed to the university of their choice, where they will typically spend at least four years. Career-Bound graduates will usually be able to start their chosen careers right away, though some may be required to attend a two-year Career College before they can start working.
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