The New Zealand education system has an excellent reputation. The school model itself, which, like in Germany, consists of a primary school, secondary school and possibly university, is less progressive. Rather, it is the large selection of school subjects and the professional specialization even in adolescence that are considered innovative and modern.
The school system
School plays a much more central role in the lives of New Zealand children than it does for German children. The “seriousness of life” begins for a New Zealand child on their fifth birthday when they start the first grade of primary or elementary school. In contrast to Germany, where it is well known that all ABC shooters start the first year of school together after the summer holidays, the first class in New Zealand has new students throughout the year. From the beginning the children attend school full-time. Classes are from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and then again from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. There is no lunch at home, but in the playground. Usually it is taken in a lunch box, a plastic can.
Although the school day only ends in the afternoon, the children are not spared homework. In the first years of school these are limited, later they reach an extent that can take several hours of free time.
According to findjobdescriptions, the New Zealand elementary school has eight standards (classes). Some elementary schools only teach up to sixth grade. The children then attend an intermediate school for another two years .
Although there is only one type of secondary school, New Zealand has three names for it: high school, college or grammar school. Grammar schools are mostly secondary private schools,for which fees must be paid. Uniform requirements begin with entry into secondary schools . Depending on the season, boys wear short or long trousers, knee socks and shirts, and sometimes ties and hats. Girls wear skirts or dresses. The boys and girls schools, i.e. secondary schools only for girls or only for boys , are more common than in Germany. There are also considerably more private schools, mostly church-run and subsidized by the state , for which school fees have to be paid in varying amounts. At these private schools, uniforms are very often required from the first grade.
Since there is no subdivision into Realschule, Hauptschule and Gymnasium, all children and young people attend a school that has to face the different inclinations and talents in its offer. This leads to a much wider choice of subjects than in Germany. In addition to the compulsory subjects English, mathematics and natural sciences, both practical subjects (works, computers, etc.), as well as musical (modern dance, singing, etc.), sporting (sailing, rugby, golf, etc.) or academic subjects are offered. Foreign languages are not compulsory, but they are very popular and are also on offer.
Since New Zealand has been economically oriented towards the Asian region for several years, it is Japanese – the most popular foreign language, followed by French and Chinese. Up to 11th grade () the timetable is still relatively fixed, so that the young people get an overview. But then they have to specialize. Basically, this is the age at which New Zealand teenagers make their first career choice by deciding whether to take practical subjects or subjects necessary for university entrance. To(Graduating class) they then have the opportunity to qualify for their future profession or their studies. The spectrum ranges from auto mechanics to jazz drummers.
An important subject is outdoor education – teaching outdoors. Sports activities in the class, e.g. B. Wild water rafting is common. They should strengthen the sense of community, but also, in addition to physical education, provide physical balance.
Everyday school life in New Zealand differs significantly from that in Germany in terms of its organization. There are no class tests. Instead, students must pass exams at the end of the school year to be admitted to the next grade. However, a new model is currently being tested that will enable students to collect points over the year so that they can counter the pressure to perform at the end of the school year.
The lessons themselves are generally more disciplined and more frontal than in Germany. The division of the school year also differs. Since New Zealand is located in the southern hemisphere, its seasons are the opposite of those in Germany. The New Zealand summer vacation falls on the hottest time of the year in December.
The school year starts in January and lasts until November. It is divided into four blocks called terms. There are two weeks of vacation after each term. The summer vacation lasts four weeks.
What is also unusual for a German student is the fact that in New Zealand it is not the students but the teachers who have their fixed classrooms. They are often housed in their own buildings and scattered across the school grounds, the campus.
New Zealand schools are typically very well equipped. Computer rooms, photo labs, libraries, mostly large sports facilities and swimming pools are part of the basic equipment. The students can benefit from this during their free time. There are a wide range of extra-curricular offerings (Extracurricular Activities), during which the education institution can be used. New Zealand teenagers have to go to school until they are 16. There are four different types of school leaving certificate to choose from: the School Certificate (after the 11th grade), the-Certificate (after the 12th grade), the higher school certificate (grade 13) or the bursary exam (grade 13), which corresponds to the German Abitur and is a requirement for entry to the university.
The university system
In addition to the universities, there are universities in New Zealand that train teachers and polytechs that are comparable to German universities of applied sciences, but have a more comprehensive range and include many professions for which one is doing an apprenticeship or training in Germany.
Measured against the total population of four million, the number of students is above average. There are seven universities. The entrance requirement for the university is the bursary exam. If you justify your motivation, you can go to university from the age of 20 without a school leaving certificate.
Tuition (tuition fees)are common at all universities and vary in amount. Students in need have the option of financial support if they can prove that their parents are unable to pay for their studies. The universities are in competition with one another and advertise aggressively to their students. Newspaper advertisements and commercials on radio and television are commonplace. Since there is no conscription in New Zealand and school ends after twelve years, New Zealand students are on average younger than their European counterparts: most start their studies at the age of 18. It is widespread that one or two semesters with a Studium Generale before actually commencing studies to spend. That means attending various lectures and “sniffing” different subject areas. The choice of subjects is diverse and is in no way inferior to the European one. There are different university degrees . The bachelor’s degree, which is currently also gaining acceptance at German universities, takes place after three years and enables a young entry into professional life. But you can also continue your studies and do your master’s degree after two years. A New Zealand peculiarity is the Bachelor of Honors, an intermediate level between Bachelor and Master, which can be completed after a further year. After the master, there is the possibility to do a doctorate, i.e. to acquire a doctorate.