The fall of communism in Poland well over two decades ago has seemingly brought about many positive changes in the Poland’s Education System. It opened the gates to privatization and deregulation, which in turn, made Poland one of the fastest growing economies in the Europe.
However, the education system was still languishing behind, with the course material not being much different from what it was back in the 1950s. However, Mirosław Handke, the then Education Minister of Poland, took the initiative and brought about many reforms in the education system of the country.
As of now, Poland boasts one of the best education systems in Europe, well ahead of the U.S., which it once used to trail by a long margin.
While these were some important Poland education facts, we will now take a look at the education levels in Poland as well as the structure of its education system and other details.
Primary Education in Poland
As per the new educational system, students in Poland would be made to take up primary education at the age of seven, and it would be compulsory for everyone and would last six years. There are different education levels in Poland, so the six years are divided into two parts.
The first part, or the first three years of primary education, is focused on making the children learn different subjects such as writing, reading, mathematics as well as basic technical and social skills.
The second part or the last three years of primary education, on the other hand, covers rather broader subjects compared to the first one, such as nature, science, arts and history.
After the students are done with their primary education, they are made to take up tests that aim at finding out their level of knowledge. This is not to classify them into different categories, but to get an idea about their future education needs.
After that, they need to get into junior high school, where they learn subjects such as mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology and geography. Furthermore, it’s also aimed at developing their thinking and helping them decide how would they like to continue with their education.
The Structure of the Higher Education System
At the age of 16, Polish students have the option of either enrolling into a high-school for a 3-year school, which would be followed by a diploma and then by university education, or to simply go for a 2-year vocation school.
Granting high-school diplomas is in the hands of state commissions, and obtaining one allows students to enroll into a university and go for the degree programs mentioned below.
On the other hand, vocational schools are more aimed at helping students learn skills in some specific fields that help them find employment opportunities.
When it comes to universities and technical colleges, the Polish education system has three stages. They are:
- Bachelor (Licencjat, Inżynier)
- Master (Magister)
- Doctor (Doktor)
However, there are some fields of education that these stages don’t apply to, and are based on the old two-stage system. Those fields include Psychology, Pharmacy, Law, Veterinary Medicine and Medicine and Dentistry.