How the school system works in Switzerland

The school system affects various aspects of the life of the state and its inhabitants. The functioning of the labour market and many other areas depend on education. The Swiss education system is well designed and directly linked to the labour market. This is the reason why Switzerland is such a developed country.

Swiss dual education system

In the land of chocolate, cheese and wine, the education system in secondary schools is based on dual education. This means that theory is directly linked to practice. Practical learning is given top priority and is preferable to classical rote learning. When choosing a secondary school, pupils choose the profession and job for which they will be prepared by a company, so to speak, and not the school itself. The latter is only an add-on.

Pupils first choose the company where they want to train for a certain profession, and then the school where they attend theoretical classes in vocational and general education subjects and part of the practical training. In this way, students are prepared for life and can start a full-time job immediately after school without preparation.

Students undergoing such vocational training are called apprentices. Companies create these jobs in limited numbers. If a student is interested in a certain profession but cannot find a company where he can be trained in it, he will have to choose another profession, which is a slight disadvantage. But since this system depends on the real supply and demand in the market, it has a positive impact on the country's economy as the gap between the demand for labour and the job offers is reduced.

Work and study at the same time

Swiss vocational training offers a wide range of subjects: crafts, standard apprenticeship, banking, information technology, social work, health care, pedagogy, manufacturing, and dance. A student acquires the status of a worker when he enters vocational training. Before he starts working, he signs a contract with the owner of the company and the monthly salary he will receive is fixed.

However, it is not at the same level as the salary of a full-time employee. The company not only prepares the apprentice for work, but also often provides them with a job upon graduation. Another advantage is that the young person is integrated into a team in which he or she is a full member. Companies must have a designated person in charge of this process. To qualify for this role, you must complete a minimum training course. Apprentices attend school one or two days and spend three or four days a week at the company.

Swiss dual education system

Continuing education

After completing their vocational training by passing the Bachelor's degree examination, the Swiss can either work or - better still - enrol in a practical college or university. In Switzerland, higher education is divided into universities, colleges and institutes of higher education. In most cases, apprentices will progress to a vocational secondary school after completing a secondary vocational school and then to university after completing a secondary school. If they want to go to university after their secondary vocational education, they have to complete a one-year apprenticeship, during which they make up for their missing theoretical knowledge.

Compulsory schooling in Switzerland lasts nine years. Pupils can then enter the aforementioned vocational high school or secondary school. Pupils who do not know which upper secondary school or vocational school they want to attend after primary school, or whose results are lower, have the opportunity to enrol in the so-called transition year, which is a transitional period. Low-achieving pupils are offered less demanding two-year courses, at the end of which they receive a certificate. After graduation, they still have the opportunity to study a professional field. Various counsellors such as social workers, vocational counsellors and employees integrated into each company's vocational training system help pupils to make a career choice.

The Swiss education system is successful

The vocational education system is well developed in Switzerland. This is confirmed by an important indicator: the low unemployment rate. The unemployment rate does not exceed 7%. Switzerland has the lowest youth unemployment rate in Europe. While the average in OECD countries is around 12%. This system is very attractive to young Swiss people because they learn practical things and also earn money during their studies, so they do not have to take on various part-time jobs. Switzerland, as a confederation, co-operates with the individual cantons (member states) and with the companies themselves in vocational training. 60% of training costs are borne by companies. They have enough resources to finance both the production process and the vocational training of students.

This system is very beneficial and efficient because it ensures that people have a job for life during their time as a student. Switzerland should serve as an example for other countries on how to improve the school system and link it to real life. At the same time, the local system gives you the opportunity to change careers throughout your life without any problems. It is this successful school system that makes Switzerland a pleasant country to live in, where everything works and where it is good to live.



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