If you actually graduated from high school (and didn’t get an equivalency diploma of some kind), how old were you when you graduated? I’m curious about this because I have a niece starting school this year at the age of five and if she doesn’t have a hiccup, she’ll graduate when she’s 16-years old.
Graduation Ages in the US
American students graduate from high school at various ages, depending on what age they started school, as dictated by their specific school district. It varies by state, county and city. I graduated at the age of 17 (and joined the military while still 17-years old) because I started Kindergarten at the age of four. The rule for my school was that if you turned five by a certain date, you could start that year. Otherwise, you had to wait a year. That same school subsequently changed that rule. No one graduates at 17-years old from that school district anymore.
I don’t know if Kindergarten is required for all students, but I do know that all students are required to attend eight years of elementary school and four years of high school. Some of the elementary years may be called “middle school” or “junior high school”. In some places, a graduation ceremony takes place upon completion of the eighth grade, but not everywhere (Hawaii in 1974, for example).
My late father only completed six years of elementary school. I don’t know how far education went back then as it was in the 1930s. My mother, on the other hand, completed eight years of school and that was in the 1940s. At some point in time, high school started as secondary education much like college is secondary education today. I doubt that it was mandatory like it is now. Since a high school education wasn’t required for most occupations until after World War II (and only for certain age brackets), I often wonder what purpose it serves to go to high school. Why not complete elementary school and then go straight to college, if you can afford it? Half the classes in high school seem to be electives and the other half seem to be rehashing elementary subjects.
Graduation Ages in the Philippines
Filipino students graduate high school at various ages, but more than the age at initial school enrollment is a factor. Since parents have to pay for all education in the Philippines, it’s not unusual to find people who graduate from high school after they’re in their twenties. Years at a time get skipped.
What is the lowest age a Filipino can graduate from high school? It’s at 15, but only if they started school at the age of four (and it does happen). The average age is 16-years old. If you think that’s odd, here’s something a bit more odd: There are college graduates who are only 19-years old. Some are clinical instructors at my son’s nursing school.
Graduation Ages in Other Countries
I have to admit that I know next to nothing about education in countries other than the Philippines and the United States. I’ve read articles here and there, such as how Japanese education is more intense than the US, but that’s about it.
The Korean students coming to the Philippines for ESL (English as a second language) training look exceptionally young, but that could be just an appearance thing. In fact, most Asian students look younger than their non-Asian counterparts.
That’s it. That’s all I know. I’d be interested to hear how it works in the Middle East and the African countries.