Compulsory education
Overview
 
Compulsory education refers to a period of education that is required of all persons.
Although Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

's The Republic is credited with having popularized the concept of compulsory education in Western intellectual thought, every parent in Judea since Moses's Covenant with God nearly a thousand years prior was required to teach their children at least informally. Over the centuries, as cities, towns and villages developed, a class of teachers called Rabbis evolved.
Encyclopedia
Compulsory education refers to a period of education that is required of all persons.

Antiquity to Medieval Era

Although Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

's The Republic is credited with having popularized the concept of compulsory education in Western intellectual thought, every parent in Judea since Moses's Covenant with God nearly a thousand years prior was required to teach their children at least informally. Over the centuries, as cities, towns and villages developed, a class of teachers called Rabbis evolved. According to the Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

 (tractate Bava Bathra 21a) which praises a sage Joshua ben Gamla with the institution of formal Jewish education in the 1st century AD., Ben Gamla instituted schools in every town and made formal education compulsory from the age of 6 or 7.

The Aztec
Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

s (AD 1325-1521) had one of the first compulsory educational systems. All male children were required to attend school until the age of 16.

Early Modern Era

During the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 in 1524, Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 advocated compulsory schooling so that all parishioners would be able to read the Bible themselves, and Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

—then a free city of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

—passed accordant legislation in 2009.

In Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, the Reformation
Reformation
- Movements :* Protestant Reformation, an attempt by Martin Luther to reform the Roman Catholic Church that resulted in a schism, and grew into a wider movement...

 prompted the establishment of the first national compulsory system of education. The Education Act of 1496
Education Act 1496
The Education Act 1496 was an act of the Parliament of Scotland that ordered the schooling of those who would administer the legal system at the local level. This made schooling compulsory for the first time in Scotland. The intent was to improve the administration of justice nationwide and to...

 had obliged the children of noblemen and freeholders to attend school, but the School Establishment Act of 1616
School Establishment Act 1616
The School Establishment Act 1616 was an Act of the Scottish Privy Council dated 10 December 1616. It mandated the establishment of publicly funded, Church-supervised schools in every parish of Scotland. The act was a consequence of the Scottish Reformation, and was the basis of all future acts of...

 commanded every parish with the means to establish a school paid for by parishioners. The Parliament of Scotland
Parliament of Scotland
The Parliament of Scotland, officially the Estates of Parliament, was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The unicameral parliament of Scotland is first found on record during the early 13th century, with the first meeting for which a primary source survives at...

 confirmed this with the Education Act of 1633
Education Act 1633
The Education Act 1633 was an Act of the Parliament of Scotland that ordered a locally funded, Church-supervised school to be established in every parish in Scotland, and included the means to realise that order. The act was passed by the Parliament at Edinburgh on 18 June 1633, titled...

 and created a local land-based tax to provide the required funding. The required majority support of parishioners, however, provided a tax evasion loophole which heralded the Education Act of 1646
Education Act 1646
The Education Act 1646 was an Act of the Parliament of Scotland that ordered locally funded, Church-supervised schools to be established in every parish in Scotland. It was passed by the Parliament at St...

. The turmoil of the age meant that in 1661 there was a temporary reversion to the less compulsory 1633 position. However, in 1696 a new Act
Education Act 1696
The Education Act 1696 was an Act of the Parliament of Scotland that ordered locally funded, Church-supervised schools to be established in every parish in Scotland...

 re-established the compulsory provision of a school in every parish with a system of fines, sequestration and direct government implementation as a means of enforcement where required.

In Austria
Education in Austria
The Republic of Austria has a free and public school system, and nine years of education are mandatory. Schools offer a series of vocational-technical and university preparatory tracks involving one to four additional years of education beyond the minimum mandatory level. The legal basis for...

, mandatory primary education was introduced by Empress Maria Theresa in 1774.

Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 can claim the first modern compulsory system that was widely recognised and copied. It was introduced by decree of Frederick the Great in 1763-5 and was later expanded in the 19th century. This provided a working model for other states to copy; the clearest example of direct copying is probably Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 in the period of the Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
The , also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, Reform or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868...

.

Modern Era

Compulsory education on this model gradually spread to other countries, reaching the American State of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 in 1852, and spreading to other states until, in 1917, Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 was the last state to enact a compulsory attendance law. Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 had originally enacted the first compulsory education law in the American colonies in 1647. The Massachusetts General Court
Massachusetts General Court
The Massachusetts General Court is the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The name "General Court" is a hold-over from the Colonial Era, when this body also sat in judgment of judicial appeals cases...

 passed a law requiring every town to create and operate a grammar school. Fines were imposed on parents who did not send their children to school and the government took the power to take children away from their parents and apprentice them to others if government officials decided that the parents were "unfit to have the children educated properly".

Compulsory education had not been part of early American society, which relied instead on private schools that mostly charged tuition. The spread of compulsory education in the Massachusetts tradition throughout America, especially for Native Americans, has been credited to General Richard Henry Pratt. Pratt used techniques developed on Native Americans in a prisoner of war camp in Fort Marion, Augustine, Florida, to force demographic minorities across America into government schools. His prototype was the Carlisle School in Pennsylvania.

One of the last areas in Europe to adopt a compulsory system was England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

, where the Elementary Education Act 1870
Elementary Education Act 1870
The Elementary Education Act 1870, commonly known as Forster's Education Act, set the framework for schooling of all children between ages 5 and 12 in England and Wales...

 paved the way by establishing school boards to set up schools in any places that did not have adequate provision. Attendance was made compulsory until age 10 in 1880.

Current status by country

Some kind of education is compulsory to all people in most countries, but different localities vary in how many years or grades of education they require. Due to population growth and the proliferation of compulsory education, UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 has calculated that in the next 30 years more people will receive formal education than in all of human history thus far. Although education itself is compulsory, it is usually possible in many countries for parents to provide education for their children by some other means, such as homeschooling
Homeschooling
Homeschooling or homeschool is the education of children at home, typically by parents but sometimes by tutors, rather than in other formal settings of public or private school...

, although this is typically monitored for adherence to national standards.

Australia

Education is compulsory between the ages of 5 to 17 in every state and territory in Australia. However, this ruling may be waived if the student has decided to pursue full time employment or full-time education at other such institution (e.g. TAFE- Technical And Further Education).

Canada

Education is compulsory between ages 6 to 16 in every province in Canada
Education in Canada
Education in Canada is for the most part provided publicly, funded and overseen by federal, provincial, and local governments. Education is within provincial jurisdiction and the curriculum is overseen by the province. Education in Canada is generally divided into primary education, followed by...

, except for Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 and New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

, where the compulsory age is 18. In some provinces, early leaving exemptions can be granted under certain circumstances at 14.

China

Age Education Compulsory
18-22 University or college No
15-18 Senior high school (middle school)
or
Vocational school
No
12-15 Junior middle school Yes
6-12 Primary school

Finland

In Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, school starts at the age of seven (± 1 year, negotiable), and ends after graduation from comprehensive school
Comprehensive school
A comprehensive school is a state school that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude. This is in contrast to the selective school system, where admission is restricted on the basis of a selection criteria. The term is commonly used in relation to the United...

 at the age of fifteen or sixteen, or at least after ten school years.

Germany

In Education in Germany
Education in Germany
The responsibility for the German education system lies primarily with the states while the federal government plays only a minor role. Optional Kindergarten education is provided for all children between three and six years of age, after which school attendance is compulsory, in most cases for...

, school attendance is compulsory for 9 to 10 years (age 6 to 16) though the exact time varies between the states
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

. Unlike in most other countries, it is illegal for German parents to opt out of the school system and educate children at home since Nazi-era 1930s.

India

The Indian parliament passed The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act in August 2009, making education free and compulsory for children between 6 and 14.

Mexico

In Mexico
Education in Mexico
Education in Mexico is regulated by the Secretariat of Public Education . Education standards are set by this Ministry at all levels except in "autonomous" universities chartered by the government...

, schooling is required through lower secondary school only.

Russia

The project of the Compulsory Primary Education Act was discussed in the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 from 1910, however in June 1912 it was rejected. In the first years of the Soviet Russia
Soviet Russia
Soviet Russia usually refers to the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, one of the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union. It may also denote:* Soviet Russia , magazine of the Friends of Soviet Russia in the United States...

 a massive Likbez
Likbez
Likbez was a campaign of eradication of illiteracy in Soviet Russia and Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s. The term was also used for various schools and courses established during the campaign...

 campaign of eradication of illiteracy began, and later the primary education became compulsory. The 1936 Soviet Constitution
1936 Soviet Constitution
The 1936 Soviet constitution, adopted on December 5, 1936, and also known as the "Stalin" constitution, redesigned the government of the Soviet Union.- Basic provisions :...

 declared the free education among the other social and economic rights of the citizen.

Eleven-year secondary education in Russian is compulsory since September 1, 2007. Until 2007, it was limited to nine years with grades 10-11 optional; federal subjects of Russia
Federal subjects of Russia
Russia is a federation which, since March 1, 2008, consists of 83 federal subjects . In 1993, when the Constitution was adopted, there were 89 federal subjects listed...

 could enforce higher compulsory standard through local legislation within the eleven–year federal program. Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 enacted compulsory eleven–year education in 2005, similar legislation existed in Altai Krai
Altai Krai
Altai Krai is a federal subject of Russia . It borders with, clockwise from the south, Kazakhstan, Novosibirsk and Kemerovo Oblasts, and the Altai Republic. The krai's administrative center is the city of Barnaul...

, Sakha and Tyumen Oblast
Tyumen Oblast
Tyumen Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Tyumen. The oblast has administrative jurisdiction over two autonomous okrugs—Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Tyumen is the largest city, with over half a million inhabitants...

. A student of 15 to 18 years of age may drop out of school with approval of his/her parent and local authorities, and without their consent upon reaching age of 18. Expulsion from school for multiple violations disrupting school life is possible starting at the age of 15.

Slovenia

Compulsory education in Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 begins at the age of five and extends until the age of fourteen. After having attended primary school for nine years, pupils customarily continue to pursue some kind of secondary education (vocational school
Vocational school
A vocational school , providing vocational education, is a school in which students are taught the skills needed to perform a particular job...

s, technical school
Technical school
Technical school is a general term used for two-year college which provide mostly employment-preparation skills for trained labor, such as welding, culinary arts and office management.-Associations supporting technical schools:...

s or gymnasiums
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

).

Taiwan (Republic of China)

Compulsory education was extended from 6 years to 9 years in 1968 in the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

, effective in Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 (both Taipei City and Taiwan Province
Taiwan Province
Taiwan Province is one of the two administrative divisions referred to as provinces and is controlled by the Republic of China . The province covers approximately 73% of the territory controlled by the Republic of China...

 (which then covered Kaohsiung City)), Kinmen County and Lienchiang County.

United Kingdom

The Elementary Education Act 1870
Elementary Education Act 1870
The Elementary Education Act 1870, commonly known as Forster's Education Act, set the framework for schooling of all children between ages 5 and 12 in England and Wales...

, also known as Forster's
William Edward Forster
William Edward Forster PC, FRS was an English industrialist, philanthropist and Liberal Party statesman.-Early life:...

 Education Act
created the concept of compulsory education for children under thirteen. Ten years after the Elementary Education Act 1880
Elementary Education Act 1880
The Elementary Education Act 1880 was a British Act of Parliament which extended the Elementary Education Act 1870. The act extended the compulsory age of attendance at school until the age of 10....

 insisted on compulsory attendance from 5–10 years.

Now in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 compulsory education begins between four and a half and five and a half; since 1972 it has ended at the age of 16. But from 2013 compulsory education, be it traditional classroom education or training is planned to be raised to the age of 17, and from 2015 to the age of 18.

United States

Education is compulsory for all children in the United States, but the age range for which school attendance is required varies from state to state. It begins between the ages of five and eight and ends between age sixteen and eighteen. Some states allow students to leave school between 14–17 with parental permission, before finishing high school; other states require students to stay in school until age 18. Many states do however allow gifted and talented students to accelerate their education so as to finish all educational requirements early.

Poland

In Poland compulsory education ends at the age of 18. It usually starts when children are 6 years old and ends after 12 years of learning (usually in a high school, or in a gymnasium when someone does not pass a class twice).

See also

  • Education Index
    Education Index
    This article contains information based on the pre-2010 Human Development Reports. The HDI and its education component have changed in 2010.The United Nations publishes a Human Development Index every year, which consists of the Education index, GDP Index and Life Expectancy Index...

  • Public education
    Public education
    State schools, also known in the United States and Canada as public schools,In much of the Commonwealth, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, the terms 'public education', 'public school' and 'independent school' are used for private schools, that is, schools...

  • Public school (government funded)
  • Child Labor
    Child labor
    Child labour refers to the employment of children at regular and sustained labour. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organizations and is illegal in many countries...

  • Homeschooling
    Homeschooling
    Homeschooling or homeschool is the education of children at home, typically by parents but sometimes by tutors, rather than in other formal settings of public or private school...

  • Unschooling
    Unschooling
    Unschooling is a range of educational philosophies and practices centered on allowing children to learn through their natural life experiences, including play, game play, household responsibilities, work experience, and social interaction, rather than through a more traditional school curriculum....

  • Anti-schooling activism
  • Raising Of School Leaving Age
    Raising of school leaving age
    The raising of school leaving age is an act brought into force when the legal age a child is allowed to leave compulsory education increases...

     (in the United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

    )
  • Workforce
    Labor force
    In economics, a labor force or labour force is a region's combined civilian workforce, including both the employed and unemployed.Normally, the labor force of a country consists of everyone of working age In economics, a labor force or labour force is a region's combined civilian workforce,...

  • HSLDA

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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