Because the United States does not offer vocational programs in its public high schools, comparing US graduations rates to that of other countries that offer vocational training toward secondary high school graduation is not a fair and/or equal comparison. If we remove the vocational programs in other countries then we are comparing apples to apples instead of apples to cucumbers, and we end up with a more realistic rating of the top ten countries with the United Kingdom removed from the list.
Skilled Labor Shortage – high unemployment and a labor shortage at the same time
In North America, there is far less of a tradition in the public schools of vocational education of any sort, but in the UK and EU, there are vocational programs. However, there is a difference: “The UK requires much less general education and permits all training to take place on employers’ premises, whereas in other countries attendance at college or apprenticeship centers is the rule.” Source: education.gov.uk
The graduation rates of 17/18 year olds of the top ten countries compared for academics not vocational programs:
1. United States = 75.5%
2. Japan = 72%
3. Ireland = 70%
4. South Korea = 66%
5. Norway = 60%
6. Denmark = 55%
7. Finland = 48%
8. Germany = 39%
9. Italy = 35%
10. Switzerland = 30%
In addition, there are 193 countries represented in the UN, putting the United States high-school academic graduation rate (age 17/18) number one of all the nations that are members of the UN.
In addition, the US has the third-largest population on the Earth, and due to population size, it seems fair to compare the US to other countries with large populations.
1. China = 1.347 billion (According to data from China’s Ministry of Education, China has a 99% (160 million) attendance rate for primary school. However, about 63% finished Senior Middle School and 45% complete Vocational School of 15 – 18 yr olds)
2. India = 1.21 billion (49% of females participate in secondary schools compared to 59% of males)
3. United States = 314.2 million (75.5% completed secondary education by 18 yrs of age. However, by gender, more than 90% of girls complete high school or its equivalent, while only 85% of boys do. In the US, high school focuses primarily on the social and academic and does not offer a vocational program toward graduation.
4. Indonesia = 237.6 million (29% complete general education programs and 17% complete vocational training)
5. Brazil = 192.4 million (65% complete general education programs and 9% complete vocational training)
6. Pakistan = 180.5 million (20% of females participate in the secondary schools compared to 35% of males)
7. Nigeria = 166.6 million (43% of females participate in secondary schools compared to 45% of males)
8. Bangladesh = 152.5 million (43% of females participate in secondary schools compared to 40% of males)
9. Russia = 143.1 million (53% complete general education programs and 41% complete vocational training)
10. Japan = 112.3 million (72% complete general education programs and 23% complete vocational training)
Primary Source: unicef.org
Continued on September 4, 2012 in Not Broken! – Part 4 or return to Part 2
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.
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