Education in Gramatia

After Emperor Pimpèl founded the Gramatian state, he also introduced compulsory education and military conscription for all citizens. That both education and military service were (and still are, even twenty-five centuries later) mandatory, is no coincidence. Just one look at the traditional Gramatian school curriculum reveals their relation:

  • reading and writing
  • arithmetics
  • geometry
  • logic and grammar
  • equestarianism
  • archery (girls) / swordsmanship (boys)
  • Takamu (a strategic board game, similar to chess)

Over the course of two and a half thousand years the curriculum has been expanded a lot, but the very core has remained very much the same. (Horse riding was not abolished as a mandatory school subject until the 1970s, and most schools still offer this as an optional course.)

Under Gramatian law school attendance is mandatory until the age of sixteen (also the age of majority). Most school leavers will then fulfill two years of military service. After completing their term of conscription, the overall majority of young men and women will join a guild as an apprentice to learn some trade.

However, those who want to pursue a career in the civil service, we have to pass the civil service exam. There are three levels of exams:

  • local exams (comparable to an associate degree)
  • provincial exams (comparable to a bachelor degree)
  • national exams (comparable to a master degree)

In order to sit a higher level exam, one has to have the lower levels first. The passing the national exams is required to get a senior position within the Imperial Civil Service. The exams themselves cover subjects such as Gramatian language, Benyan language, Gramatian law, History, Geography and Mathematics.

Every citizen is allowed to sit for the exams. However, candidates are responsible for their own preparation. Many of them spend hours studying in the many public libraries of Gramatia. Fortunately, some of the people who have passed the national exams, have decided to start schools to prepare students rather than to become a civil servant themselves – though many of these school owners are retired or part-time civil servants.

Though there are no universities as we know them on Earth, the Gramatian government has established several research institutes that conduct scientific research and additionally the Imperial Library and its associated scholarly societies across the nation are heavily involved in scientific studies as well. Having your work added to the First Catalog of the Imperial Library is kind of similar of earning a PhD.

For specific professions there are special schools, such as medical and engineering schools. Most of these schools are sponsored by the Imperial Armed Forces and many graduates will serve in the armed forces for a couple of years before pursuing a civil career.

However, most citizens will join a guild after completing their military services. Gramatian guilds are the primary professional bodies and they will train their recruits in their respective trades. For instance if one desires to become a baker, one will seek a position as a pupil of a certified master baker. This person will teach its pupil for a number of years and if he or she believes its student has received sufficient practice, he or she will recommend to pupil by the guild to get certified.

Precise procedure will vary from guild to guild, but in general an exam committee consisting of experience guild members will give the candidate an assignment and if this properly carried out, the candidate will be accepted as member of the guild.

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