K-12 Education in Denmark
Education in Denmark goes through the following stages. First there is pre-school followed by primary and lower secondary education. This is then followed by upper secondary education. Apart from this, there is also vocational education and training. Finally there is higher education and adult learning.
Pre-Primary and Pre-School Education
Prior to commencement of pre-school, many children in Denmark are sent to day care such as kindergartens and nurseries. Pre school or pre-primary education is optional in Denmark. It is followed by 9 years of compulsory education in primary as well as lower secondary school. Tenth standard is optional in Denmark as students opt for upper secondary education even after finishing ninth grade.
This is the primary stage of organised instruction and it is aimed at introducing little children to an atmosphere very similar to school. This includes pre-primary classes as well.
Primary and Lower Secondary Education in Denmark
Danish school for primary and lower secondary education is referred to as Folkeskole. It covers first grade which is upto the sizth standard and second grade is between grades 7 to 9 or 10. Education for primary and lower secondary education is for 7-16 or 17 year old students.
Apart from the Folkeskole which are municipal schools, there are also continuation schools, private elementary schools and boarding schools. Compulsory education in Denmark is for a period of 9 years and it is provided by all these schools. Lower secondary as well as primary school is structured under the grundskole. The 10th year of education in Denmark is optional. There are many private schools which receive public funding in Denmark as well.
Thinkers Grundtvig and Kold are known for spreading the philosophy behind a school for life based on the living world. General compulsory education became important in Denmark as well ans it became the parent's choice as to whether they wanted to opt for a public, private or home school for education of their children.
Private schools in Denmark include friskoler or small independent rural schools, privatskoler or large independent urban schools, progressive free schools, congregational schools, Rudolf Steiner schools, German minority schools and immigrant schools. The municipal school is the state school in Denmark whereas the preschool year is obligatory and it is called bornehaveklasse.
Public School Examinations
School leaving exams in Denmark are taken in public schools following completion of the 9th or 10th year of education and it is called Folkeskolens Afgangsprove. The higher examination is referred to as Folkeskolens 10.-klasseprove which is at the end of the following year. Subjects for the exam include Danish, Math, German, English and Physics/Chemistry. Students are evaluated regularly and there are different tests at different points of this compulsory schooling.
Upper Secondary Education
Upper secondary education in Denmark commences with the completion of compulsory education. Upper secondary education in Denmark is divided into general education as well as vocational or technical education. This period of education is for 16 to 19 year olds. It comprises the following:
- General upper secondary education provision: Gymnasium
- higher technical examination/HTX programme
- higher commercial examination/HHX programme
- higher preparatory examination or HF programme
Apart from this, there are vocational education and training programmes as well as basic social and health training programmes. Upper secondary education of this kind revolves around production schools and basic vocational education ans training. Vocational upper secondary education and training or VET programmes prepare students for trade and industry related careers. The duration of these programmes is around 3 to 4 years, but could vary by s much as 1 and a half to five and a half years. HF course consists of full time 2 year programmes of study. Vocational upper secondary education comprises the HHX and the HTX.
Schools for K12 Education
Both public and private schools are available at every stage of education. To be admitted to upper secondary education programmes, students must have completed 9 years of education and met certain subject requirements. Some may even be required to take admission tests. There are other options as well.Efterskoler or continuation schools
are boarding schools from 8th to 10ht grade and these are for those who have completed either Leaving or Advanced Leaving Examination. Students who want a year ot two away from home also opt for these schools. Ungdomsskoler or youth schools
are for school leavers who do not have particular skills including residential as well as non residential. Some or the other form of high school or upper secondary education is taken up by Danish students.
The Danish Gymnasium and HF are forms of academically oriented courses which are taken up by a large number of high school students. While the Gymnasium is for those who want academically oriented courses, the HF is more oriented towards those who have left the education system for a year or so and want to get back to it.
High school or K12 education begins from pre school and ends in either the Gymnasium or the HF, HHX or HTX. Students have numerous choices to opt from as the Danish education system is very well organised and flexible.