Many Languages, One World

August 27th, 2015

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Winners of the Many Languages, One world International Student Essay Contest

The opportunity to give a speech at the UN General Assembly was preceded by my participation in the essay contest “Many Languages, One World,” organized by ELS Educational Services, Inc. and United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI). The competition implied two stages, initially we wrote an essay in one of the six UN official languages ​​(English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Chinese). I wrote my essay in French which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful and melodious languages that inspires me; a language I studied for 12 years at high school. As a result, competitors, shortlisted for the written paper, were invited to a Skype interview with project organizers to demonstrate language proficiency. I was interviewed by Ms. Kathleen Stein-Smith, Chair of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) Commission on Advocacy. Overcoming successfully the two stages of the competition, I have been selected as one of the 70 winners of the Many Languages, One World International Student Essay Contest and Global Youth Forum from over 3500 students who initially participated in the contest. Thus, began one of the most unique and beautiful experiences of my life.

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Author of this blog: Daniela Moisei speaking at the UN

I traveled to the United States for the first time and the purpose of the visit was quite impressive, to attend the Many Languages, One World Global Youth Forum at Adelphi University in Garden City, from July 20-26, 2015 and to speak at the General Assembly of the United Nations. My experience in the US started great! At the passport control, explaining the purpose of the visit to the officer, he exclaimed: “Wow, good luck, Daniela!” So, the first impression was very nice and gave me courage. Then, I enjoyed the most wonderful days with the 70 winners of MLOW contest, young activists, leaders of their countries, students of various fields and specializations. We shared experience and inspired each other.

The program was full of interesting activities and interactive discussions in working groups led by facilitators. The week culminated on July 24 with our speeches at the UN! At UN headquarters, emotions overwhelmed me, everything seemed like a dream. Huge hall where the assembly is held, simultaneous interpreters, officials seated at their desks… like scenes from movies. I tried to catch every second of those important moments. My speech, presented in French, reflected the goal number 16 of the United Nations Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. I mentioned the importance of freedom, peace and security, respect for all and international cooperation. Good governance and the rule of law at the national and international levels are essential for sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty. Also, I proposed to promote a culture of peace, and peace education in schools to understand the process of acquiring the values and developing the attitudes, skills, and behaviors to live in harmony with oneself, with others and with the natural environment. In this way, educational institutions will contribute to the formation of a set of values ​​to the younger generation. I am glad that my speech was appreciated by the officials of the General Assembly, who congratulated me.

I spent a week in New York. Being caught in the preparations for the speech and activities of the Global Youth Forum, I enjoyed the beauty and immensity of this city only two days. Nevertheless, I admired the most important tourist attractions like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Times Square, the American Museum of Natural History, 9/11 Memorial. Therefore, I want to return to this US metropolis and discover the most important financial city in the world. There, I realized the saying “Time is money”, because, actually, New York never sleeps.

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Daniela in NYC

In conclusion, I would like to thank the organizers for this amazing opportunity and to transmit a big hug to my colleagues, I miss them! I realized that when you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. “

A short fragment of my speech in French: “ La paix n’est pas l’absence de guerre, c’est une vertu, un état d’esprit, une volonté de bienveillance, de confiance, de justice. À mon avis, il ne peut y avoir de paix sans développement, ni de développement sans paix. Nous ne pouvons pas éliminer la pauvreté, ni atteindre un développement durable sans traiter les conflits et l’insécurité: d’importants écarts de performance. La paix entre les nations est l’objectif de nombreuse ONG, associations pacifistes et organisations internationaux comme L’ONU. La paix, la justice et une gouvernance efficace sont les catalyseurs du développement. Tous les États devront réduire les risques de conflit et d’insécurité en promouvant la réduction de la corruption, l’égalité d’accès à la justice et à la sécurité et la participation de tous les groupes sociaux à la vie politique. Selon moi, la diplomatie et la coopération internationale sont les instruments de la paix dans le monde et le moyen le plus efficace pour combattre le racisme, la xénophobie et l’intolérance. Il faut considérer et suivre les mots de Mère Teresa: “La paix commence avec un sourire, faites-le pour la paix!”.

Daniela

Daniela Moisei is from Moldova and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Finance & Banking from the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova. She has been a radio presenter at Moldova’s national radio station for the past 5 years. She is President of the Students Council, coordinator of the project: “Students today, business women tomorrow,” a school for young entrepreneurs and volunteers of the International Center “La Strada”, aimed at combating human trafficking, and of the NGO “Youth for Right to Live”. In the future, Daniela plans to complete her master’s degree, and would like to work in a capacity that fosters connections between Moldova and the rest of the world. “My hobby is reading, it relaxes me, encourages me to think and expands my horizons.” moisei.daniela@gmail.com

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Beautiful Green and White Balloons!

August 20th, 2015

BGWB
The author of this blog: Emmanuel Kwabena Tetteh

When I was younger I had dreams of becoming the president of Ghana until my mum told me being a president isn’t a profession. She said to be a president in Africa, you either have to be a cruel dictator or you’ll get assassinated.

Now before you even start to wonder why a 9 year old boy will have such dreams, allow me to explain. I was born into a middle class royal tribe/family in Ghana but lack was not unfamiliar to me. Along with it, came the keen ability to become aware of the poverty of those around me and I always questioned my mom as to why we couldn’t afford everything we needed and why the president wasn’t giving everyone enough money to live comfortably. That was his job I thought, and if he wasn’t willing to do it, I was ready to step in so that I could change the system and make everyone feel comfortable.

I no longer have plans of being a president; but, my desire to create a positive change still burns deep inside of me.

Longing for a change after high school, I decided to study abroad. Shall we say, Russia? Yes I know you are asking ‘why Russia’? Honestly, it was simply the only option available to me at the time. But now I prefer to say it was ‘fate’. If you’ll agree with me, not everyone just wakes up one day and decides to move to Russia. My mother was very unsure about my decision and told me it wasn’t too late to change my decision even the day prior to my flight.

Well, you could understand her concern, for the first time in her life, her last baby was going to flap his wings and fly away from her nest to find shelter in a foreign land. Talk about cultural differences, the famous Russian stereotypes, the language, the weather and oh yes the snow. I had never experienced a snowfall in my life! I, however, welcomed the experience because I thought I was a full grown man and I had growing facial hair to prove it.

Low and behold, it didn’t take too long for me to experience the biggest cultural shock of my life. I arrived in my hostel room where I lived with a Portuguese and an Arab. None of them spoke English. We were so different to the extent that even the way we cooked rice was even different. Can you just imagine that? Before I got there I didn’t even know there were different techniques of cooking hard boiled rice!

My roommates and I vowed that we were going to learn the Russian language in the shortest possible time because we were tired of looking silly in the shopping malls. All we ever did was to point and pay. I wonder what the Russians thought.

This decision I made, changed my life. It gave me to opportunity to participate in the “Many Languages, One World” 2015. I wrote my essay in Russian and got chosen as one of the winners. This gave me the opportunity to visit New York City for the first time in my life, and the icing on the cake was when I had the opportunity to share my ideas at the United Nations general assembly. I felt like the president of Ghana. The time I spent in New York with MLOW was indeed the best week of my life. I can hardly find words to describe the wonderful experience. I might have to write a book on it just so you have a little idea of what I’m talking about.

Sometimes not everything in life makes sense and life itself can be very unexplainable and random just like the title of this blogpost. Although the future is still unpredictable like a girls’ mood, I remain hopeful. From now onwards and even after I graduate from medical school, I’m going to use my experiences and skills to help bring positive changes to Ghana my motherland, Africa my home, and the world as a whole.

Dear friend, what do you think you can also do to promote change? Maybe you can learn a new skill or language, maybe you can travel or study abroad, or maybe you can just share this post to motivate someone else. I believe the time is now or never.

by Emmanuel Kwabena Tetteh

Emmanel was born and raised in Ghana. He is currently studying medicine at the Volgograd State Medical University in Russia. Here’s more from Emmanuel: “I love poetry and sports. In the future I want to be a public health doctor. My dream is to volunteer my skills and serve all humanity in every way possible.” flowdelly22@yahoo.com

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My Once in a Lifetime Trip

August 13th, 2015
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Image: Siwathep (Thep) Singh Khaderpor (center with blue tinted sunglasses) and friends

When I realized that I won “Many Languages, One World” essay contest and that I’m going to New York, I was really excited. I packed all my nicest shirts, pants, and shoes hoping that I would look my best on this once in a life time trip! As soon as I got down from the plane at the New York airport, of course we took pictures and posted to our various social media since we were really happy! However my happiness didn’t last for long, 10 minutes later I realized that the airline lost my luggage. I had nothing with me apart from my passport and a selfie stick. My money, my clothes, my speech were all lost. “This is going to be the worst trip ever”, that’s all I could think of.

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Image: @ American Museum of Natural History, New York

As soon as I got to Adelphi University, I started making friends with people from so many different countries. They came to know about my “losing luggage” story. Each of them agreed and decided to lend me a different thing. For example, Jefferson, my friend from Brazil, lent me his pants every day! Eric, my friend from Uruguay, lent me his socks every day! Alline my friend from Mexico lent me her hair dryer every day! And of course so much more people lent me their stuff. My “losing luggage” story wasn’t becoming that depressing anymore, in fact I’m glad that it brought me to get to know so many friends and to be able to quickly become so close to each of them.

For the first 3 days, we were so busy with meetings and we needed to separate into our language groups so that we can prepare our speech at the UN. Our Chinese group topic was focusing on developing a healthy life at all ages. Everybody did a really great job there at the UN which was held on July 24th, 2015. We all needed to give a speech for no more than 2 minutes. Personally, I think everybody did so great and I’m so happy for all of them.

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Thep at the UN

After the speech, we all went to the New York Times Square and had dinner at a beautiful restaurant: Hard Rock Café. As for the next day, we went to the 9/11 Memorial Park, then had a wonderful boat ride to have a look at New York’s beautiful scenery, the Statue of Liberty, and so much more. After the boat ride, we went to the American Museum of Natural History. We came back to the Adelphi University around 6:00 that evening, all of us then went to our own individual’s room to get ready for our last dinner together.

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Image: At New York Times Square, and at United Nations Headquarters building.

At our last dinner together, Mr. Mark W. Harris, the President of ELS, gave us a wonderful speech and awarded each one of us a certificate. Mr. Harris is such an inspiring person, his speech made all of us realize that from now on we all have a responsibility to make this world a better place. We are now brothers and sisters and we will always have each other no matter where life takes us. As I looked at my friends at the dinner table, I can feel how 6 days totally makes a difference, now it is so hard and painful for all of us to say good bye. Thank you ELS group people who were so amazing and gave us this wonderful experience. Every single memory of this trip will never be forgotten. I am so lucky to be able to meet and become your friends. Every single one of you will always be in my heart, missing you so much my friends.

PS. I found my luggage! Yay! I can lose my luggage a hundred more times, but can never lose those beautiful memories I had with you beautiful people.

SSK

Siwathep (Thep) Singh Khaderpor

Thep is an international student from Thailand who was visiting the U.S. this summer as one of the winners of the “Many Languages, One World” and it’s UNAI (United National Academic Impact)” essay contest sponsored by ELS Language Centers. He is currently a student at Jiangsu University in China where he is studying Medicine. Thep says his professional goal is to “become a heart surgeon to fulfill my love of the sciences and medicine, and to help my fellow human beings. Furthermore, I hope to volunteer my skills to provide heart care to those in need regardless of race and economic status.”
2648988959@qq.com

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20 Facts on the Origins of the U.S. Department of Education and its former Foreign Credential Evaluation Service (FCES)

August 5th, 2015

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Unlike many countries in the world, the United States does not have a Ministry of Education, a centralized government body that oversees the country’s education system beginning with pre-school to doctoral level and professional education. The federal or national government of the U.S. does not have authority over education at any level. The U.S. does have in place the Department of Education.

1. 1867 – President Andrew Johnson signed legislation creating the first Department of Education, a Cabinet-level agency, but concerns the Department would exercise too much control over local schools led to its demotion to an Office of Education [OE] in 1868.

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President Andrew Johnson

2. As early as 1867, OE staff was publishing information on educational systems of countries around the world covering topics intended for governmental agencies and professors of comparative education at U.S. universities.

3. 1940s – The Comparative Education Section (CES) of the Office of Education became responsible for keeping information on educational developments around the world.

4. CES was responsible for gathering research and preparing data on educational systems throughout the world and availed its findings through publications and responded to inquiries on educational systems and institutions.

5. Mid-1950’s – OE provided publications that offered information relevant for international credential evaluations.

6. 1919 – The first request to have a foreign-educated person’s credentials evaluated was received by CES serving as the impetus for the formation of the Foreign Credential Evaluation Service [FCES].

7. 1960 – FCES was processing about 5,000 requests for international credential evaluations.

8. 1965 – FCES was processing about 8,500 requests for international credential evaluations.

9. 1967 – FCES was processing about 14,000 requests for international credential evaluations.

10. 1969 – FCES was estimated to process between 17,000 to 20,000 requests for international credential evaluations.

11. Evaluation services provided by FCES were free of charge and available to U.S. secondary schools, universities and colleges, federal government agencies and state governments, private organizations, professional associations, employers and individuals needing to have international credentials evaluated.

12. Evaluation reports prepared by FCES confirmed the U.S. educational equivalence of a credential in the form of a one-page checklist and did not provide any further details on the program studied, coursework completed, units of credit and grade equivalences.

13. FCES was supported through funds diverted by the OE from its CES. The FCES did not receive funds through budget appropriations for its services.

14. 1963 – The Commissioner of Education requested a report from the Education and World Affairs [EWA], a private, nonprofit educational organization funded by the Carnegie Corporation and the Ford Foundation, on the role of the OE and its services to U.S. educational institutions.

15. 1964 – EWA submitted its report and recommended that CES needs to increase and bolster its research activities and eliminate the FCES.

16. 1966 – OE announced that FCES would be terminated by July 1, 1968.

17. June 30, 1970 – FCES was terminated and the CES was dissolved a few years after.

18. By the time the CES was dissolved in the late 1960’s, it had a staff of 25 of which six were specialists in comparative education, with six research assistant and thirteen clerical staff.

19. October 17, 1979 – Congress passed the Department of Education Act (Public Law 96-88) and President Jimmy Carter signed into law the conversion of the Education division of U.S. Department of Health, Education Welfare into the U.S. Department of Education (DoE). The DoE began operations in May 1980.

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President Jimmy Carter

20. May 16, 1980 – DoE started its operation.

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U.S. Secretary of Education, Arnie Duncan

Today, the US DoE’s official role is to set conditions for appropriation of federal funds for research, educational facilities, financial aid and education-related projects. The evaluation of international educational credentials is carried out by private credential evaluation agencies, educational institutions, state licensing boards, or professional associations.

Sources:
US Department of Education: http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/focus/what_pg2.html

Evaluating Foreign Educational Credentials in the United States: Perspectives on the History of the Profession, 2014, by James S. Frey, Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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25 Fast Facts on Kenya and its Education System

July 30th, 2015

Kenya

With President Obama’s recent visit to Kenya, we would like to put the spotlight on this country located in east Africa.

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President Barack Obama delivers a speech at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in the Kasarani area of Nairobi, Kenya on Sunday July 26, 2015.
Image: Evan Vucci/Associated Press

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President Barack Obama thanks the crowd after delivering a speech at Safaricom Indoor Arena, Sunday, July 26, 2015, in Nairobi. Image: Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Fast Country Facts:

1. Kenya lies directly on the equator, and is surrounded by Uganda to the south, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia to the north.

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2. The size of the country is 582,000 square miles.

3. Some of the oldest known paleontological records of man’s history have been found in Kenya. Kenya’s Great Rift Valley was formed around 20 million years ago, when the crust of the Earth was split.

4. Kenya has a population of 43.5 million with 3.1 million people living in its capital city, Nairobi.

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Nairobi, Kenya

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Photo credit: Amateur South African Gareth Jones was one of the drivers stuck in the traffic jam on 6/25/13 and decided to get out and photograph the unique scene.

5. Although it does not have an official religion, Christianity is highly prevalent throughout the country.

6. English and Swahili are the country’s official languages.

7. It gained its independence from Great Britain in 1963 and became a parliamentary democracy with a presidential republic with a multi-party system. The government has three branches of power: the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. The Executive is headed by the president, who is democratically elected for a five-year term. The current president is Uhuru Kenyatta.

8. The Kenyan flag is comprised of three colors, black, red and white edges, and green. In the middles of the horizontal flag is a red, white and black Maasai shield. The Massai shield is a traditional symbol in Kenya that is used to symbolize the defense of the country.

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Fast Facts on Kenya’s Education System:

9. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology oversee the country’s entire education system.

10. Old System: 7-4-2-3; established in 1963 after Kenya gained independence. The education system was modelled after the British system and included seven years of primary education, four years of lower secondary education, two years of upper secondary education and three years of university.

11. Current System: 8-4-4-; introduced in 1985 and uses the U.S. education system as a model. It includes eight years of primary education, four years of secondary education and four years of university.

12. School year runs from January to December. The academic year for universities runs from September to June.

13. In 1963 there were only 151 secondary schools, with a total enrolment of 30,120 students. Today there are nearly 3,000 secondary schools with a total enrolment of 620,000 students. Of this total, slightly over 40% are girls

14. Primary education usually starts at six years of age and runs for eight years. At the end of the 8th year, students take exams intended for the award of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) which covers the following five subjects: Kiswahili, English, mathematics, science and agriculture, and social studies.

15. Secondary school education usually starts at fourteen years of age and, after the introduction of the 8 4-4 system of education which replaced the 7-4-2-3 system, runs for four years. At the end of the 4th year of secondary school, students take exams intended for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). The KCSE are national exams administered by the National Examinations Council.

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Form four candidates at the Starehe Boys Centre sit for a KCSE paper.

16. Vocational secondary education is available at youth polytechnics for those wishing to pursue a trade and follows after completion of primary education and the award of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). These programs lead to a variety of diplomas and certificates.

17. Post-secondary technical study programs are delivered by various technical training institutes and institutes of technology. The admission requirement is generally a KCSE with a C average. The study programs offered by technical training institutes and institutes of technology vary in duration. Post-secondary study programs also lead to a variety of certificates and diplomas.

18. Higher education in Kenya includes universities that are either public or private. There are a total of seven public universities; these are independent and funded by the government. Public universities are established through Acts of Parliament. Private universities are established through the process of accreditation by Commission on Higher Education (CHE).

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19. At the tertiary level, there are also national polytechnics which offer higher professional education leading to a certificate, diploma and higher national diploma. Two polytechnics have been upgraded to university status and offer degree programs.
20. Admission to higher education at public universities in Kenya is overseen by the Joint Admissions Board (JAB) and has representatives from all public universities as well as the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology and the Commission for Higher Education (CHE). Acceptance to a bachelor’s degree program required the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) with a C+ average.

21. Admission to certificate and diploma programs at polytechnics requires the KCSE with a D+ or C- average, respectively.

22. University education in Kenya consists of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. Universities also offer Diplomas and Certificates.

23. Bachelor’s degree programs usually consist of major and minor subjects. Depending on the discipline chosen, a bachelor’s program may take 4 to 6 years.

24. Master’s degree program usually take 1 or 2 years. The first year mainly consists of lectures, with the second year spent doing research and end with a final paper. In most cases, admission to a master’s program requires a minimum of an upper second class bachelor’s degree. Those with a bachelor’s qualification below upper second class may be required to complete a postgraduate diploma in the related field before being admitted into the master’s program.

25. A doctorate degree (PhD or DPhil) is awarded after a period of at least 3 years of research conducted during the doctoral program. Admission to a doctorate degree program requires a master’s degree.

Sources:
http://nationfacts.net/kenya-facts/
http://www.kenyaembassy.com/aboutkenyaeducation.html
http://www.che.or.ke/index.html
http://www.education.go.ke/Home.aspx?department=1
http://www.scienceandtechnology.go.ke/
http://www.jab.uonbi.ac.ke/index.html
http://www.knec.ac.ke/main/index.php

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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15 Facts on the Education System of Greece

July 23rd, 2015

Greece

Given the recent news on Greece and its economic crisis, we’d like to put the spotlight on its education system and offer you some highlights in this week’s blog post:

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Greece has been a republic since 1974, and became a member of the European Community (now the EU) in 1981. Greece has an area of 50,949 square miles (131,958 square kilometers); roughly the size of Alabama, with a population of more than 11 million people (almost twice the population of Alabama which is around 4.8 million.) Voting is mandatory for everyone over the age of 18 who is a Greek citizen.

Education Facts:

1. The education system in Greece is centralized, with all levels falling under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs (“Ypourgeio Paideias, dia Biou Mathisis kai Thriskeumaton”).

2. The Greek Educational System comprises of three consecutive levels: Primary; Secondary; Tertiary.

3. Education from Grades 1-9, ages 6-15, is free and compulsory.

4. Primary (“Dimotiko”) education is sub-divided into Pre-school Education and Compulsory Primary Education. The Pre-school Education is offered by kindergarten classes and the Compulsory Primary Education is given by Primary schools.

5. Secondary education is divided into two stages, stage 1 is the Compulsory Lower Level Secondary Education provided in Gymnasiums and stage 2 is the Post-compulsory or Upper Secondary Education which is offered by the Unified Lyceums (“Eniaio Lykeio”) and Technical Vocational Educational Schools (“Techniko Epaggelmatiko Ekpaideftirio – TEE”).

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6. The duration of studies in “Eniaia Lykeia” is three years and in the Technical Vocational Educational Schools (TEE) two years (a’ level) or three years (b’ level).

7. The Ministry of Education has overall responsibility for course development and approval, and also supervises most of these schools. Certain TEE are supervised by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Development.

8. Tertiary education is divided into university education offered by universities and non-university education offered by Higher Technological Educational Institutes and Higher Education Institutes.

9. Higher Education institutions in Greece are fully self-administered legal entities under public law, and are funded and supervised by the Hellenic Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs in accordance with Provision 16 of the Constitution.

10. There are 22 Universities, including Polytechnic Schools, the School of Fine Arts and the Hellenic Open University (EAP), 14 Technological Educational Institutes (T.E.I.) and the School of Pedagogic and Technological Education (ASPETAI).

11. There are also Higher Ecclesiastical Schools, supervised by the Ministry of Education and other higher education institutions mainly supervised by other Ministries (for example Merchant Marine Academies are under the supervision of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine, Higher Military Education Schools that are under the supervision of the Ministry of Defense, and Higher Police Academies are under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Order).

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University of Athens

12. Students who successfully complete their studies in universities and T.E.I. are awarded a “Ptychio” (degree) which leads to employment or further study at the post-graduate level.

13. University and T.E.I. graduates can continue their studies to attain an MSc and a PHD provided they meet the criteria set by each department running the courses.

14. Doctorate degrees are obtained after a minimum of three years of original research, including the preparation and writing of a thesis. In some doctoral programs, theoretical courses are compulsory and are taken prior to individual research.

15. Students wishing to study at the tertiary level receive scholarship s from the State Scholarships Foundation (IKY) which also grants scholarships to graduates of universities and technical education institutions for post-graduate or post-doctoral studies in Greece and abroad based on academic achievement of undergraduate studies. In addition, students (at any level) can receive grants to study at other European Higher Education Institutes under the Lifelong Learning Programs (LLP).

Sources:
T.E.I Patras (Technological Education Institute Patras) http://en.teipat.gr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=85 ]
National School Network http://www.sch.gr
Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs http://www.ypepth.gr
OECD Greece http://www.oecd.org/edu/bycountry/greece/

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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30 Facts on the Education System of Islamic Republic of Iran

July 16th, 2015

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After intense negotiations, on July 14, 2015, the U.S. and five other world powers have reached a deal to freeze Iran’s nuclear program for the next decade in exchange for gradual sanctions relief that rolls out as Iran complies with a multi-step process. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ensures that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/pages/iran.aspx

Given these recent developments, we would like to spotlight Iran and share with you the following facts on the country and its education system:

1. Iran is one of the oldest nations in the world, with a history dating back tens of thousands of years. The country’s first great city, Susa, was built on the central plateau around 3200 B.C.

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2. Iran (pronounced ee-RAHN), formerly known as Persia, is situated at the crossroads of Central Asia, South Asia, and the Arab states of the Middle East. The name “Iran” means “land of the Aryans.”

3. Iran is a republic in Central Asia, sharing a border with seven countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Iraq, Turkey, and Turkmenistan.

4. It has been officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran since the overthrow of the Shah in 1979.

5.Iran is a Shiite Muslim country, but the majority of its people are Persian, not Arab.

6. Iran’s capital is Tehran.

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Tehran: Azadi Monument (formerly Shahyad Monument)

7. Iran has a population of 80,840,713 (median age 28) and covers an area that is 636,372 square miles (1,648,195 square kilometers), slightly smaller than Alaksa.

8. Official language of instruction in Iran is Farsi/Persian. English and/or French are taught in most private schools.

9. According to 2015 estimates, the literacy rates of total population age 15 and over is 86.8% of which 92.1% are male and 82.5% are female.

10. According to 2013 reports, Iran spends 3.7 of GDP on education.

11. Starting with 7th grade, English is taught as a second language in all public schools and is compulsory through the secondary level years.

12. Primary school is called “Dabestan” and includes grades 1 to 5 (ages 6 to 11). At the end of the 5th year, students take a nation-wide exam which they must pass in order to continue to the next cycle.

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13. Middle school is called Rahnamaei also known as Lower Secondary School (Guidance) and includes grades 6 to 8 (ages 11 to 14). At the end of the 3rd year of middle school, students take a region-wide exam administered by the local provisional board of education which they must pass in order to continue to the next cycle.

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14. Secondary school is called Dabirestan and includes grades 9 to 12 (ages 14 to 17). The 4th year of grade 12 includes a college-preparatory year known as Pish-daneshgahi. In dabirestan, students choose subjects from either one of two tracks: 1) academic/general track that includes a] physics-mathematics, b] socio-economics, c] literature and culture, and d] experimental sciences; or 2) technical/vocational track in such areas as business and agriculture. On completion of 3 years of study (Grade 11), students receive their diploma before they are determined eligible to continue onto the 12th year (Grade 12) pish-daneshgahi studies.

15. Pre-university or Pish-Daneshgahi is the 4th year extension (Grade 12) to secondary school and last one year. It is an intensive year of study intended to prepare students for the national university entrance examination known as the Concour.

16. The Concour determines students’ chances to enter public and some private universities in Iran. It is a very challenging examination and only a minority of students who take it are successful in passing.

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Photo Credit:PressTV – University Entrance Exam (Concours) in Tehran

17. At the higher education level, Iran has private, public and state affiliated universities.

18. Universities, institutes of technology, medical schools, and community colleges make up the higher education sector.

19. Except for medical schools, all state-run universities are under the direct supervision of the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology. Medical schools are under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, Treatment, and Medical Education.

20. Currently, there are over 50 public universities and over 40 public institutions specializing in medical study and 200 private postsecondary institutions in Iran.

21. Tuition at public universities is free.

22. Private institutions charge fees.

23. The largest private institution in Iran is Islamic Azad University.

24. Women make up more than 60 percent of the college population in Iran but less than 20 percent of the working population.

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25. Out of 1.176 million people registered for higher education in the Iranian academic year of 2012-2013, women accounted for 522,248 (44.38 percent) while men’s share stood at 654,593 (55.62 percent).

26.The number of female university students also increased by almost twofold from 1,231,035 in the Iranian academic year of 2005-2006 to 2,106,639 in 2012-2013.

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Photo Credit: Ebrahim Norrozi/AP – Iranian women, shown here in downtown Tehran, are among groups in the country pushing for social and economic change.

27. Distance learning degree programs are provided mainly by the University of Payam-e-Hour.

28. University degrees in Iran include:
• Kardani (formerly Fogh-Diplom) – 2-year program equivalent to the Associate degree;
• Karshenasi (formerly Licence) – 4-year program equivalent to the Bachelor’s degree;
• Karshenasi Arshad (formerly Fogh-Licence) – 2-year program beyond the Karshenasi equivalent to the Master’s degree;
• Doctora (Doctorate) degree – 3-year program; requires a master’s (Karshenasi) degree for admission and is awarded on completion of 60 semester units and passing a comprehensive exam before entering the research phase of the program, during which they prepare and defend their dissertation.
• Specialized Doctorates – Degrees in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine are awarded after 6 years of study and a thesis and require completion of the pre-university year for admission.

29. Grading system at primary through university is based on a 0-20 scale. At the primary, secondary level, and undergraduate levels, an average grade of 10 is required for promotion to the next academic grade. At the graduate level the minimum average grade is 12 and in doctoral programs the minimum average is 14.

30. Every year about 150,000 highly talented Iranians emigrate in what the International Monetary Fund calls the highest brain drain in the world.

Bonus Fact:
31. Since we love cats here at ACEI, here’s a bonus fact on the Persian cat; one of the world’s oldest breeds. They originated in the high plateaus of Iran where their long silky fur protected them from the cold. Italian traders brought the breed to Europe in the 17th century, where they became an exotic status symbol. (source: Rajendra, Vijeya, Gisela Kaplan, and Rudi Rajendra. 2004. Iran (Cultures of the World). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.)

Helpful links & Sources:
https://www.educationusairan.com/edu-professionals/education-systems
http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/iran_statistics.html
http://www.snipview.com/q/Schools_in_Iran
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-14541327

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The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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