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Historians cite that formal education was mandatory for everyone regardless of social class and gender. Higher education, also called tertiary, third stage, or postsecondary education, is the non-compulsory educational level that follows the completion of a school such as a high school or secondary school. Tertiary education is normally taken to include undergraduate and postgraduate education, as well as vocational education and training.

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Nonformal education occurs as addition or alternative to formal education. It may be structured according to educational arrangements, but in a more flexible manner, and usually takes place in community-based, workplace-based or civil society-based settings. Lastly, informal education occurs in daily life, in the family, any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational, whether unintentional or intentional. In practice there is a continuum from the highly formalized to the highly informalized, and informal learning can occur in all three settings. For instance, homeschooling can be classified as nonformal or informal, depending upon the structure. Formal education occurs in a structured environment whose explicit purpose is teaching students.

Take the Curve Out of Learning

Globally, in 2008, around 89% of children aged six to twelve were enrolled in primary education, and this proportion was rising. Under the Education For All programs driven by UNESCO, most countries have committed to achieving universal enrollment in primary education by 2015, and in many countries, it is compulsory. The division between primary and secondary education is quite arbitrary, but it generally occurs at about eleven or twelve years of age. Some education systems have separate middle schools, with the transition to the final stage of secondary education taking place at around the age of fifteen. Schools that provide primary education, are mostly referred to as primary schools or elementary schools. Primary schools are often subdivided into infant schools and junior schools.

Joseph Chimombo pointed out education’s role as a policy instrument, capable of instilling social change and economic advancement in developing countries by giving communities the opportunity to take control of their destinies. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, calls for a new vision to address the environmental, social and economic concerns facing the world today. The Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals , including SDG 4 on education. It spans the period between the typically universal compulsory, primary education to the optional, selective tertiary, “postsecondary”, or “higher” education of ISCED 5 and 6 (e.g. university), and the ISCED 4 Further education or vocational school.

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The Programme for International Student Assessment and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement objectively monitor and compare the proficiency of students from a wide range of different nations. A certain percentage of students should be removed for improvisation of academics . In China, Confucius (551–479 BCE), of the State of Lu, was the country’s most influential ancient philosopher, whose educational outlook continues to influence the societies of China and neighbours like Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Confucius gathered disciples and searched in vain for a ruler who would adopt his ideals for good governance, but his Analects were written down by followers and have continued to influence education in East Asia into the modern era. Plato founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in Europe.

Economists Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis argued in 1976 that there was a fundamental conflict in American schooling between the Education News egalitarian goal of democratic participation and the inequalities implied by the continued profitability of capitalist production.

Charities like One Laptop per Child are dedicated to providing infrastructures through which the disadvantaged may access educational materials. The Renaissance in Europe ushered in a new age of scientific and intellectual inquiry and appreciation of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg developed a printing press, which allowed works of literature to spread more quickly.

Students who require special education found it difficult to progress through the curriculum without tools and support that they require. Polling suggests that schools that serve a majority of students of color are far less likely to have access to the technology needed for remote learning. Only 66% of Black households in the U.S. had home broadband service in 2019. Only 45% of Black Americans owned a desktop or laptop computer in 2015.