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European Educational Systems

by glacierpeaks Sun Mar 1st, 2009 at 03:53:11 AM EST

In America last week, Barak Obama did what no other president has done before. Without committing to specifics, he proposed that the federal government subsidize education for all, in effect guaranteeing it as a right.

Now, we'll have to see how much of that becomes a reality, and when. But a key part of Obama's statement is that this isn't just about driving everyone into college for white collar jobs, but in bringing back trade schools for blue collar jobs as well.

And that's where you guys come in: I need your input on how higher education works in your country, for college, but especially for trade schools. There is muted discussion in America about the need to rebuild our manufacturing base (which, outside the energy and auto sectors, has been almost completely liquidated over the past two generations).

In your view, how should America go about this? If you were Obama, or an American citizen who was starting from scratch in building a social democratic educational model, how would you do it?

I recall years ago hearing that Germany had an apprenticeship program for some of its industries: make the grade, and you had a job guarantee upon completion. Is that true? Is it still around? Was that targeted specifically for a narrow list of industries, or was it wide-ranging? What were the pros & cons?

Be an American for the next ten minutes, & tell me how you would build an educational system for the future. I'm throwing it wide open for your ideas...

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