Education within the starlit court is handled largely in two ways; formal foundational Education taught by a mix of specialized fey and teachers via VR/AR, and a less formal apprenticeship/intern program. All members of the court are entitled and obligated to complete an education to a standard set by the Small Council of Educators (SCE for short).
The Small Council of Educators
The Small Council of Educators is an agency that answers to a subcommittee of the Council of Elders that oversee education for the Starlit court. The SCE are the final authority for education in Sihi, and have numerous powers including:
- Setting the final educational target and standard of education for primary and secondary educations
- Passing rules and standards for educational institutions like collages
- Determining the budget and compensation for educators, sages, and monks involved in the education system
- Passing laws and protections for apprentices and mentors to prevent and punish abuses of authority and trust
- The power to grant educator licenses to Sihians, fey, Sages and Monks
Preschool and Primary schooling
Preschool is handled by small groups of expert educators, mostly focused on building social skills and covers the human equivalent ages of postnatal care to 6 depending on needs of parents. Attendance of preschool is not required, but guardians are encouraged to enroll their children in at least one year of preschool
Primary schooling students are grouped into classes with a shared guidance expert who guides the student for their full Primary schooling, and cover students the equivalent age range of 6 to 12. Primary school classes are held in education centers on a daily schedule 5 days out of the week, attendance of which is mandatory. At least 50% of all classes take place in group VR/AR sessions, where Fae teach tailored lessons according to the need of the students, and to familiarize the students with the Fae and Maeve. Education during this period is mostly focused on basic arithmetic, literacy, basic physical education, and life skills, including teaching students to cook, clean, basic responsibility, technological literacy, and home skills. During the primary schooling period there is a slight focus on encouraging students to explore their passions in order to drive students to consider future careers.
Secondary schooling is less structured, with students assigned to classes of 50 which have weekly mandatory progress meetings, as well as the beginning of apprenticeship programs. Secondary schooling covers the equivalent human ages of 13 to 18. Each class has a single councilor and teacher who works with students to set and meet learning goals. The majority of classes are personalized AR/VR experiences that are lead by fey and professional educators. Students are encouraged by their councilors to join and creating clubs and participate in organized sports to supplement educations and promote social activities. Councilors work with their students to find apprenticeships during their secondary schooling, with most students engaging in two or three apprenticeships that match the interests of students to help placement in future careers. It is early during this time period that squires are chosen by their fey, and it is the responsibility of councilors to compile reports and profiles for knightly orders looking for squires. It is also during this time period that volunteers for men at arms and other military adjacent services begin equivalent of basic training.
Students who shirk educational responsibilities are flagged as special interest, and potentially transferred to the supervision of delinquency specialists. Generally secondary schooling lasts until the student reaches their species age of majority, but it can be ended early or extended depending on academic achievement, special consideration for economic situation, and emotional maturity of the student based on the discretion of the councilor.
Tertiary and Higher Education
Tertiary, or higher education, largely consists of adults earning certifications and licenses to practice their chosen career, and is typically taught via mentorship or collegiate organizations set up or maintained by guilds and orders to maintain a high level of proficiency and skill in a field. Many orders and guilds establish and support collages to centralize the education process of prospective peers and to shorten the time required of an apprenticeship. The distribution of official licenses and certifications are handled by respected and elder members of orders and guilds who act in accordance to guidelines set by the Small Council of Educators. The requirements to earn a license or certification varies depending on one's career, though typically require the prospect to have completed a number of years as an apprentice, the completion of a practical or written exam, or the completion of a thesis project in an allotted time frame.
Sihians have the right to continue their education at their own discretion, and never lose access to the tools granted to them during their secondary education. Post education classes are often cheap as the systems are heavily subsidized by the court, and often taught by monks and sages. Usually a class will charge a small nominal fee for the time of the educator, with gifts and tips given to educators are considered a polite way of showing one’s appreciation for the imparted wisdom of the teacher. Gifts are also often seen as a way to curry favor or ply an educator into giving a better outcome on grading or progress reviews, with giving gifts typically being a thing given cautiously with some degree of ritual. Learning and honing one's mind is culturally seen as a righteous and good thing, and is often connected with the idea of mindfully walking the Starlit Path or the virtues of Unity and Diligence.
Private schools and institutions do exist within Sihian society but are in the minority. Some guilds, orders, and private groups choose to create and support private schools and educational centers to teach youths from juvenile to adulthood. Several knightly orders maintain schools to provide specialized fine tuned education for prospective squires from childhood. Students in these institutions are often drawn from the families of knights or directly singled out by individual knights for their potential. Privately owned and operated schools provide further tailored learning for their students and address ideological and philosophical concerns of the students parents. Private schools are subsidized by the court, but still often charge for their services. Private institutions must still conform to and meet the educational standards as set forth by the SCE.
Home schooling is not uncommon, parents and guardians may apply to act as their child’s counselor. Guardians acting as a student’s counselor must send regular reports to the SCE at the same intervals as a standard SCE. Guardians in this situation are given a catalog of fey, sages/monks, and other educators affiliated with the SCE to assist in educating their child. When hiring these educators, guardians are within their rights to impose restrictions or special focuses for their child’s education. Educators hired this way are free to end their contracts with the parent if they disagree with restrictions placed on the student’s education, and are obligated to report any signs of abuse to the SCE. Guardians may opt to be the soul educators for their child, though if the student does not meet the required educational milestones as set by the SCE homeschooling status may be repealed.
In recent years the Cherryblossom court has emerged as a popular learning tool among knights. There has been a push among many knights and educators to integrate existing learning tools with emerging cherrblossom court.