How much education is free in your country?

United States
December 20, 2007 1:48pm CST
Here in the United States, education is both free and mandatory through the 12th grade, which is usually when the child is about 17 or 18. College is sometimes free for certain lower income people who meet and maintain certain qualifications, but you have to apply for the money and attending college is not mandatory. But, I've noticed a lot of countries don't have free education past the 8th grade, or age 13. After that, they have to pay for their education with their own money. So, what is it like in your country? Is it hard to go to "high school" or college? Are there programs to help poor people get a higher education?
3 people like this
14 responses
@meatiitr (364)
• India
20 Dec 07
In India we have access to free education at the primary level only in government public schools,but they cannot keep up with the standards of private schools,so most of us have to pay for our education right from day one. But the government is taking a lot of initiatives and the conditions are bound to improve in near future.
• United States
20 Dec 07
Thanks for answering. I hope that your government is successful in making its changes in this matter. It's always good to have a well educated populace.
1 person likes this
@marie31 (17)
• Philippines
21 Dec 07
Here in the Philippines... We have public and private schools. Obviously, in public schools, they enjoy lower tuition fee rates compared to private schools. If one is less fortunate, he/she is offered a scholarship. Even if a child is below 13 years old and is studying in public school, his/her parents are required to pay for their school fees. Sad thing, huh? In short, schooling was never free here in the Philippines amidst the fact that there are a lot of children who cant afford to study.
• Philippines
21 Dec 07
I know... There's so many parents you can't afford sending their kids to school. they have to worry about the uniform expenses, daily allowance for food and transportation, books, misc. fees and so many, many children don't go and end up working at a very young age. But the year's budget on education is a bit higher... Let's all hope it really goes to funding a better future for these children and nowhere near the pockets of our ruthless politicians.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Dec 07
I am actually finding out that this is common in many countries. I know in parts of Africa, the uniform requirement puts such a burden on come families that the child cannot attend school even if there was one within walking distance.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Dec 07
Oops, I meant to say "some families". Sorry. **blushing**
1 person likes this
@johndur (3046)
• Pasig, Philippines
21 Dec 07
lucky for you! here in my country,we have free education from grades one to grade six only and there are some government schools offering free education for high school and some colleges also but due to high cost of living in my country with lots of poor people.a lot of people cant afford to give their children a good education thats why only a few can finish their studies while others have to make a living just to make it in school.i guess it happens here because of rampant corruption in the government from the highest position in the land to the lowest.they all steal the peoples money for their own appetite.leaving the poor to go down more poorer and the rich more richer.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Dec 07
I understand what you mean. One way to help people climb out of poverty is through education. It also helps the country as well by having a skilled workforce. It's not fair that the rich have all the education and information, and therefore all the power.
@johndur (3046)
• Pasig, Philippines
23 Dec 07
you are right! and therefore we have to make ourselves grow without the help from the government,since here we cant just wait for our governments help just to finish our studies,we have to be more resourceful and make an extra effort to be able to finish our courses.there is also one problem in my country,since the best graduates dont intend to work in their country we lack the best professionals and workforce since they all migrated to other countries to have greener pastures.what's left here are the average professionals.its one of the reason why our country cant make a good student since most of the best pros are not around to teach them.
@cosylvia (400)
• China
21 Dec 07
in our country china,,have education had never be free,,although in the elementary school,even if the higher school,in the college maybe takes much more money ..so some poor family cant bear this high fee,so most of our college and university have the programs to help the poor to finish the fours education,.,,,so it is so lucky for them,i remember i gain the scholarship in the college,wish you have a good day and merry christmas
• United States
21 Dec 07
Wow, I didn't realize that is how it is in China. Is the education mandatory regardless of ability to pay? A few posts back, someone mentioned having to pay a third of her salary for the fees. I can't imagine being forced to pay so much.
1 person likes this
21 Dec 07
No education is free, because its funded by the taxes that tax payers pay monthly. I know what you mean though. We do not have to pay anything for education up until the age of 20. If someone has a low income and still in full-time education after their 20th birthday they carry on getting it free until they are counted as having enough money to fund their own education. ~Joeys wife
2 people like this
• United States
21 Dec 07
Yeah, you're right. We all are paying for it through taxes. But, at least in the United States, I think we get a pretty good bargain. I don't have kids, but I actually don't mind paying the taxes for education because I know that society benefits from having educated people overall.
@arun057 (281)
• India
21 Dec 07
Here in India, the government run schools are free in urban areas upto 5th grade and in rural areas upto 10th grade.. nothing else is free.. there are no funds that the poor may benefit from, there are no programs for the kids regarding co-curricular activities, even colleges dont go for spot or cultural meets now a days.. its just like those who are studying continue studying, the others continue rotting away..
@fanji008 (782)
• China
21 Dec 07
Hi,there! Well,in my country,we receive education for free for about 9 years.I remember when I was young,we had to pay not very little tuition for high school.However,the government has taken some measures so that nowadays students pay much less than before in high school.After 9 years,then the students need to pay the tuition and it's not too expensive before university.It isn't hard to go to high school.I don't think it's very hard to go to college either.But it's not that easy to go to some good ones.There are some programs to help people get a higher education cause now we have "hope project" and the government would also try to help those poor students:) Thanks for the discussion and have a nice weekend^_^
2 people like this
@CEN7777 (858)
• India
21 Dec 07
education - education for better future
Hi desertdalene, It is not so easy to provide free education in INdia. There are lot of pvt educational institutes which takes higher fees from parents and parents also like to send their childrens in pvt schools for better education to survive in this competative world. Very Few peoples send their childrens in government school. Now goverment of india has decided that every single girlchild in a family would be eligible for free education upto intermediate standard (twelveth standard). It has been decided that all institutes seeking affialiation to central board of secondary education would have to give total fee waiver for every girl, who is single child of their parents. If there were two girls in a family, both will be entitled for fee concession upto 50%.
2 people like this
• India
21 Dec 07
here in India education is free till age of 14 in government schools. and govt also sponsers bright students of low income group to finish their college.more than this there are many social groups who help int the completion of education for needy children.
2 people like this
@dlsheng (136)
• China
21 Dec 07
In China,free education is a dream or goal of future. All of us need more money to finish our education.
2 people like this
@wisedragon (2328)
• Philippines
20 Dec 07
Here in the Philippines there are public schools that offer free education from elementary to high school. Unfortunately they are packed full and the quality is not as good as a private school, so they are mostly for poor people only. The government also offers free technical/vocational courses as a livelihood program. If a student is diligent enough he can avail of a scholarship program being offered by some charitable foundations so that he can attend college. These usually require that high grades be maintained.
@bbsr13 (4197)
• India
21 Dec 07
Hello,desertdarlene! in my country,India, education has not so far been made compulsory not even treated as the fundamental right for the children.of course up to the primary levels{between the age group 6 to 14} free education is provided to the children.but the system is totally a failure one for different reasons.so we depend mostly on public schools run by private sector.as the cost of these schools are too high,some times it becomes a burden for the common man to send their children to such schools.in high schools also we are paying higher rates of admission fees.but in colleges the cost is too much for which poor students discontinue their studies.so far higher studies,technical education is concerned the cost of admission fees as well as annual tution fees are not within the reach of even the higher middle class people.there is no subsidised schemes to help the poor people.in India education has become the subject of the higher income groups.thank you.good day.
• United States
22 Dec 07
Thanks for answering. I think it's interesting about the different attitudes that each country's government has towards education.
@dianne17k (588)
• Philippines
21 Dec 07
Like what marie mentioned about the Philippines' educational system, poor families can opt to send their children to public elementary and high schools. However, due to poor funding the quality of education is greatly affected. Classrooms are so packed with so many students that i doubt students learn anything at all. Schools lack chairs, tables and even classrooms. Some students graduate from elementary not being able to read! There are public science high schools that offer a higher standard of education which provide education at par or even comparably better than the private institutions. Science high schools are reserved for the intelligent ones and have a tight screening process. For college, there are also colleges run by the government. It's a cheaper choice but similar to the status of elementary education. I graduated from a public university and I can say that due to the low budget being given to the university, quality education is compromised. Imagine we had to clean test tubes and other lab equipment using a dipper and a pale of water. To top that, we had to buy lab materials from our own pockets just to get by.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Dec 07
I feel we have a similar situation here in the United States with our inner city urban schools. A lot of kids don't even graduate from those kinds of high schools. The government says that they fund all schools equally, but clearly it is not equal. I think inner city schools should get extra funding because the kids aren't graduating and end up contributing to the problems in the area.
@youless (105363)
• Guangzhou, China
21 Dec 07
You are very lucky. I am from China. My son is 3.5 years old. I realized the education fee is so expensive here. My son goes to the kindergarten. I have paid a lot for it and every month I still have to pay for his education fee. Every month his charge in the kingarten is about 1/3 of my salary. However, this is only for kindergarten. He has to go to primary school, high school and even university in the future. So you can imagine what's the big pressure for every parent here. Nothing is free of charge.