Education in Gylias

Education in Gylias is mandatory for children between the ages of 6 and 15. The Gylian educational system is unique in Tyran for its strong anarchist influences, which have produced a system based on a foundation of progressive and democratic education.

The system is strongly decentralised and dominated by public education. Private schools are non-profit and use various forms of alternative education.

History

Education was the responsibility of states and voluntary associations during the Liúşai League. It was provided by hired tutors, government-sponsored schools and open-air lectures, or religious temples.

Education was a significant aspect of the Gylian ascendancy in the 19th century. Clandestine education was provided by a variety of informal schools, in Gylic and other languages, and the system developed to the point of incorporating underground universities. The Gylian education system — unofficial, volunteer-based, and widespread — helped shape Gylians' common identity in opposition to Xevden, and disseminate ideologies such as anarchism, communism, socialism, and feminism.

The first public education system was established in Alscia, after it became a province of the Cacertian Empire. The Alscian system was based on formalising existing underground institutions, and followed the Cacertian model. Education was made compulsory between ages 8 and 14.

Education underwent radical reinvention under the Free Territories, based on anarchist theories of education. Formal education was abolished in favour of classes, lectures, and discussions hosted by volunteers, held in public. Play and natural inquisitiveness were encouraged, and learning became an activity for all ages. Priorities included fostering personal development, class consciousness, and freethought. Mass campaigns to eradicate illiteracy gave rise to itinerant teachers, who traveled around the Free Territories to provide their services to areas in need.

The end of the Liberation War led to a transition from the Free Territories to Gylias. Under the aegis of education ministers Rin Tōsaka and Sakura Tōsaka, the modern Gylian education system took shape, preserving the anarchist heritage of the Free Territories. Public educational institutions were integrated into a nationwide system of educational provision and information dissemination, which included community and evening classes, night schools, community markets and "popular libraries", infoshops, and distance education.

Framework

The Ministry of Education and Research establishes the framework for education in consultation with the public. The framework is flexible, aimed at meeting students' needs, and encourages experimentation. Pre-tertiary education is mainly the responsibility of municipalities, who fund and administer the respective institutions.

The Gylian educational system is based on progressive and democratic principles, and student-centred learning methods predominate. Educational institutions are self-organised and run through direct democracy, students and teachers are equals, and students can propose classes and topics.

Distinctive resulting traits include:

School year

The school year lasts nine months, beginning on 1 September and ending on 31 May. The last week of December and first week of January constitute the winter break, separating the year into two academic terms, and summer vacation lasts from 1 June to 31 August.

Structure

Preschool

Children under 6 years old receive education through crèches. The focus is on providing a good environment for childhood development and socialisation, fostering a culture of learning, and preparing children for compulsory education.

Primary school

Compulsory education begins at age 6, through primary school (école élémentaire). Primary school lasts 6 years in total, generally between ages 6 and 12.

Classes are small, attendance is voluntary, and periodisation is not strict: there is no formal distinction between class and recess. Students learn in their native language as well as French and English, and may learn other languages as they wish. Schools have a relaxed and informal atmosphere, with clean buildings, emphasis on outdoor activities and the arts, and no homework.

Reading for pleasure is actively encouraged. Teachers facilitate learning through encouragement and suggestions for new areas of study. There are no tests. Students are given verbal assessments and narrative evaluations later. Struggling students are provided with extra help and tutoring. In the event of repeated unsatisfactory assessments, a teacher may decide a student needs to repeat a year, after interviewing the student and parents in question.

Students are provided with free school meals and milk, textbooks, health care, subsidised transportation or housing.

Secondary education

Secondary education lasts 6 years, generally between ages 12 and 18. It is divided into two stages.

The lower stage of secondary education lasts 3 years and is provided by secondary school (lycée). This is the last stage of compulsory education. After completing secondary school, the student decides whether to continue education, pursue an apprenticeship, or enter the workforce directly.

The higher stage of secondary education lasts 3 years, and takes two forms:

Students are provided with free school meals and milk, subsidised transportation or housing, and student assistance payments.

Higher education

Tertiary education starts at age 18, and is differentiated by focus:

Students are provided with free school meals and milk, subsidised transportation or housing, and student assistance payments.

Higher education is the responsibility of municipalities, regions, and the federal government. The latter two are distinguished by "regional" or "federal" in their names. There is one federal university and institute of technology in each region.

Most institutions have location names. One of the few universities officially named after a person is Anca Déuréy University in Narsiad, Gylias' largest seat of higher education.

Students are provided with free school meals and milk, subsidised transportation or housing, and student assistance payments.

Special education

Specialised institutions exist for students with disabilities and special educational needs, with the policy of mainstreaming them into regular institutions as early as possible.

Distance learning is well-established. Its most famous institution is the Open University.

Various forms of adult education exist, ranging from formal institutions, distance learning, community classes, and self-education.

Financing

Education is legally defined as a public good, and can not be done for profit. The majority of educational institutions are public. They are funded from taxation.

Tuition payments do not exist. Private insititutions either rely on other means of finance, such as donations or complementary currencies, or are non-monetary and entirely volunteer-run.

Private education

Private institutions include anarchist free schools, specialist language schools, overseas educational institutions active in Gylias, and schools based on particular pedagogical methods such as Montessori education.

Challenges

The radical difference between Gylian education and other countries have necessitated the conclusion of multiple bilateral agreements to ensure compatibility of standards and qualifications. This has tended to discourage Gylian students from studying abroad.

Religion

Religious instruction is strictly forbidden. Public schools may teach about religions in general, but must do so from a secular standpoint.

Religious schools are illegal. Those interested in learning about a religion may do so through personal study or seeking information from registered religious associations, but only in a private, non-educational context.