Education in the Kingdom of Albion
The Kingdom of Albion, and the city of Greyholdt in particular, has a rather distinct social strata that is often difficult to traverse except by those who are exceptionally skilled, dedicated or lucky. Education is typically afforded to all of the children of the middle and upper classes usually through private or royal academies or private tuition. Amongst the lower classes, basic reading, writing and mathematics ('numbers') are taught, generally, by parents or local teachers who are not employed by any singular body, organisation or the state but take donations or payment from the families of children they teach. Often these teachers are charitable individuals who gain very little from their profession other than the feeling of assisting the youth and, as a result, their resources are often severly lacking by the standards of formal educational institutions available to the wealthy. This disparity between the classes and the variable educations throughout has led to the development of distinct dialects between them. In the poorer districts, which are even more stratified in their education status, these dialects and turns of phrase can be particularly diverse, with some districts seeming to have an entire language of their own. A more formalised education can be an option for those living at the bottom of Albion society. For those that are gifted in some academic field, they can seek patronage from one of the private or state-run academies or by an influential individual higher up the social strata. For others who are not so gifted however, the other forms of formal education that are more readily affordable often come with another price. Some, like the Rowley & Fenning Whaling and Maritime Academy offer youngsters a formal education but ask for a term of 10 years service in return, a service that often carries enormous risk to life and limb. Other 'academies' are more scrupulous, luring children and families in with the promise of education but shipping them off to serve as soon as the money has been handed over, often with the remark "You'll learn on the job, lad, don't you worry".
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