Are you planning to migrate to Australia any time soon?
Whether you are beginning as a foreign student or as an employee with his children, the Australian education system plays a crucial part to your move. You are probably wondering and worrying about it now. Please worry not, as this guide will help you kickstart your journey!
Our Filipino education system is heavily based on the ways of United States. In contrast, the Australian education system was influenced by the British colony. This is why there are some differences between the two systems. For example, our university grading system is based on numbers (1-4) while the Australian university grading system is based on letters (HD-N).
Much to our luck, the official mode of instruction in Australia is in terms of the English language. But many schools still offer bilingual programs or programs in several languages.
Education is Australia is the main responsibility of the states and the territory governments. The governing bodies provide funding and regulates both private and public schools within the area. You must be familiar with the stages of education, types of schools, and common terms before moving down under.
Stages of Australian Education
Similar to our Daycare centers in the Philippines, Daycare centers in Australia provide the children with the foundation that they will need before they start formal schooling. At Daycare centers, children are allowed to socialize with others through play and are allowed to get used to being away from their parents. These centers are usually open from 9 am to 2:30 pm.
While some Daycare centers are government funded, others will charge about $50 per day.
After Daycare, the children will move to Kindergarten. Children enter this stage at age three to five. The government’s Department of Education and Training (DET) provides funding to some of the Kindergartens. So you do not have to fret much about the school fees if you are an Australian resident already.
3. Primary School
Primary school is compulsory for children aged 6. They can either start from “Grade Prep to Grade Six” or from “Year 1 to Year 7”. The curriculum of Primary Schools include teaching the basics of language, health, arithmetic, and social education. After graduating at age 12 or 13, students will move to Middle School or Secondary School.
4. Middle School
The existence of Middle Schools vary across states. Middle Schools are ought to bridge the gaps between the Primary and Secondary school years in order to achieve a smooth transition to secondary school.
5. Secondary School
Secondary School or High School offers a curriculum that includes English, Mathematics, Science, and Humanities. Some schools even offer vocationally focused curriculum or separate their senior campuses for students completing their final years. Observable differences in Australian education system and Filipino education system rises around this stage.
Generally, students attend every weekday until they graduate at around age 18. But students can drop off school at the “leaving age” required for their state or territory. These students will receive a certificate at the end of Year 10. The certificate is important for gaining jobs or apprenticeships. Furthermore, if you want to enrol in a Technical and Further Education (TAFE) course, you must have your Year 10 school certificate.
To qualify for Universities, students must complete their final year. The Universities will use their marks and their certificate to determine whether the student will be accepted or not.
Like in our motherland, students at the Universities study for their Bachelor or Undergraduate degrees. They can further their education by taking an extra year of study called the “Honours Year” or by taking a Masters and a Doctorate degree.
There are about 43 Universities in Australia with 40 being public, 2 being international and 1 being private. Most of these schools offer both on-campus and off-campus learning (distance learning) to the students.
Regarding the fees, you must pay your own fees according to the area of study. If you cannot fully adhere to this, you can apply for the government’s loan scheme called HELP. For more information about HELP, visit studyassist.gov.au/sites/StudyAssist.
Types of Australian Schools
1. Public School
Public or State Schools in Australia are free as they are run by the government. However, most Public Schools request levies from parents to fund extra activities and resources. Other expected expenses are uniforms, textbooks, and field trips.
These schools must follow the government guidelines when they set their curriculum.
2. Private School
As you may imagine, Private Schools charge fees. These fees are a tad costly and ranges from $2,000 to $13,000 per year. The fee depends on various factors such as the student’s age, the school’s location, and the school’s brand. Some Private Schools offer scholarships.
Their relatively smaller class sizes may contribute to their reputation of offering better education than Public schools.
3. Special Learning School
Amazingly, Australia has dedicated schools for people with learning and physical disabilities. There are also hospital schools for children who are sick for a long period of time.
You can search for your state’s Specific Learning Difficulties Association (SPELD) to learn more.
4. Home Schooling
Rather than sending your children to the mainstream schools, you can choose to teach your child at home through Home Schooling. You can teach your own child even without teaching qualifications. Or you may employ a tutor.
Search for the Alternative Education Resources Group in your area to know more about this. For example, Home Education Network (HEN) is the home schooling support group in Victoria.
To avoid confusion, here are some of the common terms used in the Australian education system:
1. College: another term for Secondary School or High School
2. Uni (University): offers Higher and Further Education
3. Prep: first year of Primary School
4. HSC: High School Certificate (received upon completing Year 12)
5. NTCE: Northern Territory Certificate of Education (received upon completing Year 12)
6. SACE: South Australian Certificate of Education (received upon completing Year 12)
7. TCE: Tasmanian Certificate of Education (received upon completing Year 12)
8. VCE: Victorian Certificate of Education (received upon completing Year 12)
9. WACE: Western Australia Certificate of Education (received upon completing Year 12)
10. Kindy: another term for Kindergarten