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Old 26.08.2020, 23:26
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Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

I came across a list/map of % of kids going to gymnasium for each village in the Zurich canton. It ranges between 30-45% for most of the villages in Gold and Silver coast and as low as under 10% for many villages in the other regions.

Does this % indicate the quality of the schools and the neighborhood in general ? I find some nice house offers in many villages like Geroldswil, Lufingen etc. but am hesitant due to the very low % of students going to Gymnasium. We would like to live in a neighborhood/village that values good education. Does this % indicate anything in that regard ?

What is your opinion /experience ? Is there any co-relation ?

Last edited by Yoga; 26.08.2020 at 23:43.
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Old 27.08.2020, 05:11
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

In Canton Zurich, where there is an extremely difficult entry exam for Gymnasium, and the entry % generally indicates the wealth of the area - as the parents can afford to pay for tutors to train their kids for the exam. There are companies who make the bulk of their income from tutoring for Gymnasium exams.

The Gymnasium entry exam in Canton Zurich test well beyond the regular sixth grade curriculum, so the children need to have some form of special preparation to pass the test. I have friends who have trained their children themselves, which is an option if you're fluent in German and also skilled in the mathematics required. Most of the rest have simply paid tutors. Some have had special classes offered in their children's school to train for the exam.
Also, if your child does not have excellent German, forget about the public Gymnasium - there are three tests: maths, German spelling/grammar, German written composition. Everything, obviously, is in German - and since there are limited places available, they tend to be brutal in assessing the composition (as the others are either right or wrong ...).

So, no - the Gymnasium entry percentage does not indicate the quality of the school, rather the wealth of parents in the area and their ability/willingness to engage extra tutoring.
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Old 27.08.2020, 07:01
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

Some people will say yes but the majority will say no. Most Swiss are still proud of their apprenticeship program and are aware that a Berufsmatura plus a transition year will also get you into a university if so desired.
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Old 27.08.2020, 08:16
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

The gymnasium exam is also optional, and if the gymnasium is a long way to travel, parents may simply not be ready to send their kids away, even if it's for gymnasium. There are so many pathways to a career in Switzerland, and there is a lot of information available.



It may also reflect the personal careers if parents - if your parent is a builder, they may be well-aware that there are very good career options in building which do not require gymnasium, or are better planned via apprenticeship (higher status for those trained 'on the job' rather than 'booklearning').



It might also be that working + studying is a better alternative. If you are low income, getting kids into a work/study environment may be higher priority than 100% academics with little time for paid work...
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Old 27.08.2020, 09:13
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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So, no - the Gymnasium entry percentage does not indicate the quality of the school, rather the wealth of parents in the area and their ability/willingness to engage extra tutoring.
Except wealthier areas may find it easier to attract better teachers. And wealthier areas may invest more in schooling.
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Old 27.08.2020, 09:18
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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Except wealthier areas may find it easier to attract better teachers. And wealthier areas may invest more in schooling.
Generally successful people who live in wealthy areas tend to be of above average intelligence, it's reasonable to assume that their children will do better than average, regardless of the school.
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Old 27.08.2020, 10:54
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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So, no - the Gymnasium entry percentage does not indicate the quality of the school, rather the wealth of parents in the area and their ability/willingness to engage extra tutoring.
I disagree. Even with all the tutoring, if your child is the only one in class preparing for matura, the drag will be enormous.

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Generally successful people who live in wealthy areas tend to be of above average intelligence, it's reasonable to assume that their children will do better than average, regardless of the school.
Either because they care, they known higher education does make life more financially comfortable and because higher educated parents usually provide some level of tutoring even inadvertently.

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Except wealthier areas may find it easier to attract better teachers. And wealthier areas may invest more in schooling.
They have more tax income which makes for better equipped and staffed schools.

I am not saying it's right, but this is how it is IMHO.
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Old 27.08.2020, 11:10
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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Except wealthier areas may find it easier to attract better teachers. And wealthier areas may invest more in schooling.
Wealth is usually the consequence of some traits like ambition, discipline and intelligence. The kid inherits these traits from their parents and this makes him successful. Additionally there is the power of example, successful parent makes successful child. No amount of schooling can replace this.
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Old 27.08.2020, 11:32
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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Except wealthier areas may find it easier to attract better teachers.
Why? Payment is set by the canton and does not change much from one commune to the next. Unlike the US where teachers have out of pocket expenses all needed materials are paid by the school. On the other hand in a wealthy commune you will have more parents with special needs and demands which can make a teachers life more complicated.
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Old 27.08.2020, 11:32
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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I came across a list/map of % of kids going to gymnasium for each village in the Zurich canton. It ranges between 30-45% for most of the villages in Gold and Silver coast and as low as under 10% for many villages in the other regions.

Does this % indicate the quality of the schools and the neighborhood in general ? I find some nice house offers in many villages like Geroldswil, Lufingen etc. but am hesitant due to the very low % of students going to Gymnasium. We would like to live in a neighborhood/village that values good education. Does this % indicate anything in that regard ?

What is your opinion /experience ? Is there any co-relation ?
First of all I doubt you got it right - it is definitely not 30-40% for most of villages on Golden and Silver Coast, it's only for 2 or max. 3 on Silver Coast (Kilchberg and Rueschlikon that I am certain of) and probably a few more on the Gold Coast. Definitely not most villages/town, canton Zurich is larger than you expect. The average is bellow 20%, usually way bellow.

Second - the very low % of students going to Gymnasium is not necessarily an evidence of a low quality education.
Going to Gymi is/will be mostly an individual work anyway. The school offers extra-lessons but that alone won't get your child into gymi.
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Old 27.08.2020, 11:43
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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First of all I doubt you got it right - it is definitely not 30-40% for most of villages on Golden and Silver Coast, it's only for 2 or max. 3 on Silver Coast (Kilchberg and Rueschlikon that I am certain of) and probably a few more on the Gold Coast. Definitely not most villages/town, canton Zurich is larger than you expect. The average is bellow 20%, usually way bellow.
The average for the regular Matura is 20%. Some gold coast communes had up to 50% in some years.

Opendata:
https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/de/home...aetsquote.html
https://www.zh.ch/de/bildung/bildung...n-bildung.html

Note: Canton Zurich sets the cut of at age 19 and counts those which addend a Gymnasium. BFS sets the cutoff at age 25 and counts those with a Matura.

Paywall:
https://www.nzz.ch/zuerich/der-matur...ern-ld.1405888
https://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich...story/15733906
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Old 27.08.2020, 13:33
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

It's a combination of all the Things mentionned. If you live further away from a Gymnasium the chances that you will attend one are smaller because your opportunity costs are higher. If you can find a good apprenticeship in the area, maybe do the Berufsmatura (vocational matura) at the same time you will have more free time because you need to spend less time commuting. And you earn money.
If your parents didn't go to University but have a good job, you might want to follow the same path. Just as most expats who went to Uni think their Children should too. Peer pressure. If all of your Friends prepare for Gymnasium you might too. If no-one does you won't.
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Old 27.08.2020, 13:44
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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Generally successful people who live in wealthy areas tend to be of above average intelligence, it's reasonable to assume that their children will do better than average, regardless of the school.
I thought this was a sarcastic post, but I am not sure. Do you really believe this BS?.
What financially successful parents may do is game the system so that their offspring have an increased chance of repeating their own financial success.
"Intelligence" has very little to do with it.
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Old 27.08.2020, 14:03
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

all of the above.

Plus I think the % of professional foreigners makes a difference - I live on the silver coast and in my daughter's class, only 1 child has Swiss parents. The rest are mixed at the very least, with a high percentage of Germans, and anglo saxons who migrated here due to their profession.

For these foreigners, it's university or nothing, as that is what they know. I heard in Germany something like 60% of students go to Gymni. So of course they expect their kids to go to Gymni too. For a Swiss, Gymni is only for the smartest, and they think it may not even be a good thing if your kids are not the studying type and more a practical type.

In the parents evening, the head teacher was at pains to explain that Gymni is not the only option in Switzerland. Last week the teachers asked who wanted to do the Gymni prep class - almost every kid said yes, even the ones with lower grades, I would assume because their parents are pushing them.

Last edited by axman; 27.08.2020 at 14:26.
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Old 27.08.2020, 14:04
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

Yes, what irish_temptation said.

If you are accustomed to seeing your parents settling down after the evening meal to read a journal, or to do the company billing, as opposed to watch TV, there is more likelihood that you, too, will take up reading or know the general ideas of running one's own business. If they are familiar with libraries, or public trade fares, they're more likely to take their children along.

The particularly wonderful thing about the Swiss education and social system is that one doesn't have to follow in one's parents' footsteps. There are lawyers whose sons are butchers, and daughters are carpenters, and plumbers whose children are full-time academics, and a mix within many families. The social strata are not as rigidly defined as in some societies, so that the professor is much less likely to wince when he talks about his children, one of whom is an engineer, one a hairdresser, and another a technician. It's socially acceptable.

The main criterion of an adult child's having "turned out well", of regarding them (and their parents, to a lesser extent) as worthy of respect, is whether the young adult can learn enough and work hard and reliably enough to pay their own way in life. In Switzerland, as I observe it, that is probably the central measure of success.
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Old 27.08.2020, 14:07
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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I thought this was a sarcastic post, but I am not sure. Do you really believe this BS?.
What financially successful parents may do is game the system so that their offspring have an increased chance of repeating their own financial success.
"Intelligence" has very little to do with it.
That's a possibility. However the financial success is usually a consequence of some traits which might be inherited by the children, intelligence being one of them. The children have an increased chance in life without their parents gaming the system.
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Old 27.08.2020, 14:09
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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That's a possibility. However the financial success is usually a consequence of some traits which might be inherited by the children, intelligence being one of them. The children have an increased chance in life without their parents gaming the system.
And the children of wealthy people have a much higher likelihood of a substantial monetary inheritance.

The knowledge of whether or not one can count on an inheritance influences the way in which many young and middle-aged people, in Switzerland, structure their life's plans.
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Old 27.08.2020, 14:27
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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And the children of wealthy people have a much higher likelihood of a substantial monetary inheritance.

The knowledge of whether or not one can count on an inheritance influences the way in which many young and middle-aged people, in Switzerland, structure their life's plans.
Valid at least for two Swiss I know well. My friend is the daughter of a secondary school teacher - never made it to gymi herself. Her OH comes from a relatively rich family, never made it to uni/banking jobs etc himself. Others I know have uni degrees and their children are doing an apprenticeship/trade school.

As for Swiss parents pushing their kids to either fulfil parental dreams or some social unwritten norm (if you parent was a doctor then you too must take this path)... they don't. They don't hinder the process either. Kids are free to choose for themselves.
It's difficult for many foreigners to understand the way things work here because many come from much more hierarchical/classist societies. It's even reflected in the way they relate to other foreigners...
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Old 27.08.2020, 15:12
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

Agree with the posts about swiss parents in general being less pushy with their kids than many other places. There is is just a discord between this and the gymi situation in Kanton Zürich; maybe something to do with money?
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Old 27.08.2020, 15:18
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

Perhaps. A friend's daughter reported that her happiest, healthiest class-mates, in gymi, were those whose parents offered to support them in their learning, but also repeatedly reassured them that it's okay to drop out of gymasium, if the pressure becomes too great (they really do have to move rapidly through a great deal of material), and that it would be fine for them to return to secondary school, and then do an apprenticeship.

Some of them did just that. Some of them drew comfort from knowing they could if they wanted/needed to, and pushed through and completed gymi.
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