Short report on education around the globe

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2012 at 9:40 am

 By Antonio Graceffo

In response to Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin claim that Malaysian education is now better than education in America and the west.


The US has been slipping in education ranking. According to United Nations Human Development Index Report (HDI)Canada is number 6 in the world (Seriously, I like Canada and am very impressed at how many good things they have done for their citizens in spite of the racial handicap of being Canadian. US is number 20. And Malaysia is number 96, lower than Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago , and Mongolia. World education rankings: China was 97, Japan 23, Vietnam 114, Myamar 120, Thailand 72 (higher than Malaysia), Hong Kong 86, Singapore 52, Cambodia 132 (behind Congo), Taiwan, Korea 34.The reason you find some countries much lower than what you may have suspected is because in countries outside of US and Canada, not everyone gets to go to school. And this is an important point when looking at human development index. In the US, it is unlikely to meet a waiter who can’t read, can’t do basic math in his head, or has never eaten at a restaurant. But across Asia this is common. Meanwhile, when I was teaching elementary school in Taiwan, 5th graders were already doing math that I, as a language major, didn’t do in university. When I was studying at university in Germany, Germans were fond of telling me how stupid Americans were and that our high school wasn’t even recognized in Germany. The fact is, nearly all Americans graduate high school, more than 80% of people over 25 have a high school diploma. But only 11% of Germans receive the Abitur, the German high school diploma which allows you to proceed to university. So, in comparing high school grads and arbiter-holder, you are comparing the top 11% of Germans to the average American, which is unfair. For a fair comparison, you have to go across the whole population, which for Germany would include Realschule and Hauptschul students, who complete their academic education at ages 14-16. They wouldn’t even compare to the average American high school grad and certainly not to AP or IB graduates who internationally ranked. Similar comparisons have to be made when comparing other European countries with an Abitur system, such as Norway, or with French speaking countries who have the Bach. These exams are bloody hard and are only passed by a small percentage of elite students in those countries. As for comparing Malaysia to US, you need to see how many patents were filed in each country, per capita, how many international academic awards were received, such as the Fields Medal or Nobel Prize. Look at international competitions such as international science fairs and mathematics contests… and you will find that Malaysia is even low compared to the rest of Asia. Antonio Graceffo is self-funded and needs donation to continue his writing and video work. To support the project you can donate through the paypal link on his website, Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a martial arts and adventure author living in Asia. He is the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries. Warrior Odyssey, the book chronicling Antonio Graceffo’s first six years in Asia is available at The book contains stories about the war in Burma and the Shan State Army. The book is available at See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on website Twitter facebook Brooklyn Monk fan page Brooklyn Monk on YOUTUBE Brooklyn Monk in 3D Order the download at Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor) Brooklyn Monk in Asia Podcast (anti-travel humor) Brooklyn Monk in 3D Order the download at

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