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  • Over the past few years, the United States and other western countries have seen a trend of teachers quitting their jobs.

  • Among their chief complaints is an overwhelming focus on standardized testing, and the feeling that their professional opinions are ignored.

  • Perhaps as a result, the United States was 29th in the most recent rankings of countries by education.

  • So we wanted to know, which countries have the best education, and what are they doing right?

  • In 2015, the OECD released a report on Universal Basic Skills, including one of the largest global education rankings.

  • A substantial portion of the ranking is based on an international assessment of reading, mathematics, and science literacy, called PISA.

  • Now, since the year 2000, Finland has topped most international education lists, especially based on PISA scores.

  • But this year's ranking places Finland sixth worldwide.

  • And while that's partially the result of declining Finnish test scores, it is much more so because a number of East Asian countries have come to dominate the list.

  • In fact, all top five countries are located in and around East Asia: Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

  • And they're all relatively wealthy nations, who share similar views on education.

  • Succeeding in school is culturally stressed as a priority, and has an enormous impact on future prospects.

  • This leads to intense competition, and subsequently higher overall scores.

  • But in contrast to less effective education systems, these top ranking countries heavily invest in their teachers.

  • For example, number one ranked Singapore is known for providing bonuses to well performing teachers, and attracts qualified instructors with competitive salaries.

  • And as a number of Asian countries continue to see rapid economic growth, having a strong education system is integral to future economic success.

  • Looking at the far end of education rankings, Ghana had the lowest secondary school enrollment rate of countries surveyed, as well as the lowest PISA scores.

  • The OECD has predicted that if Ghana could meet universal basic skill goals,

  • they could see their GDP rise 38 times higher over the lifetime of a child born today.

  • They also point out that when a nation’s population is uneducated, it equates to lost economic output, and can lead to a permanent economic recession as a result.

  • Additionally, in countries like the UK, one in five children finish school without a basic level of education.

  • Similarly in the US, around two-thirds of nine and ten-year-olds cannot yet read at their grade level.

  • Some point to an emphasis on "repetitive rote learning" rather than an actual education.

  • This is often the difference between hands on instruction, and standardized test-based goals.

  • The latter has shown to fail both students and teachers.

  • Education is one of the most important criteria for determining the present and future health of a nation.

  • And while not every country has the resources or cultural emphasis for successful modes of teaching, it is clear that governments should be treating education as an extremely high priority.

  • Sex education, on the other hand, is not always given priority by countries like the U.S.

  • To find out which countries are actually teaching sex education right, check out our video now.

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Over the past few years, the United States and other western countries have seen a trend of teachers quitting their jobs.

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