Geek Trivia

The First Universal Compulsory Education System Was Found In?

The Aztec Empire
The Roman Empire
Victorian England
The United States
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Answer: The Aztec Empire

Although many cultures had educational systems in place before the Aztec Empire rose to power in the 15th century, the Aztecs introduced something previously unheard of anywhere in the world: universal compulsory education for children of all genders and ages.

Younger children were instructed under the tutelage of their parents (but supervised and tested by local education authorities). During their teenage years, both male and female children were required to engage in formal study in either the Telpochcalli (which focused on the study of trades and military training) or the Calmecac (which focused on politics, scholarship, and priesthood).

It would be centuries after the fall of the Aztec Empire in the 16th century before any other political states or countries would adopt compulsory education on a border-to-border level. The modern compulsory education system familiar to students (and graduates) the world over was developed in Prussia in the 18th century and had spread to most Western nations, including the United States, by the 19th century.

Note: while it is true that the Jews in ancient Judea had required and implemented an education system about 2,000 years ago, their system was only for boys and thus was not “universal” as the modern education system is today.