Every year in September students all over the UK return to school. This busy time normally sees a surge of parents and students rushing around to prepare for the new academic year. The same that happens in the UK can be said for parts of Europe too.

However, although many countries in Europe and the Northern hemisphere see a similarity between students and their education system, you would be wrong to assume that going to school around the world is a universal experience.

For example, in the UK, the average school day lasts from 8 am – 3.30pm, but did you know that for children in Germany, an average school day lasts no more than 4 hours, from 8 am – 12 pm?

The education a student receives largely depends on the country’s history, culture and values. There are certainly many different practices around the world and all of them surprisingly yielding different results.

For example, some countries believe that the ‘traditional’ education system where students are taught through rote learning and repetition, is the key to a successful education. However, in other parts of the world, students receive more of a vocational education and learn a trade that can potentially be more beneficial to them in the long run.

Furthermore, some systems of education believe that students should learn valuable facts and information, encouraging critical thinking and autonomy. Whereas on the other hand, there are some that believe that the primary function of an education is to shape and mould students into future workers and citizens of society. Regardless of the model, education is certainly a fundamental institution in a person’s learning and development.

Here’s a list of how schools vary around the world and how they compare to schools in the UK.

Russia

Russia is the country with the least number of taught hours in all the OECD.

You would imagine that a country that excels in so many areas such as maths and physics, students would be studying day and night, spending as many hours as possible in school. However, the truth is that in Russia, students receive no more than 470 taught hours a year. That’s 244 hours less a year that children in the UK.

Part of the reason this is is that, in many areas Russia, people endure harsh cold weather meaning that it’s not always possible to go to school. In addition, the Russian education system encourages rote learning and memorisation, meaning that schools days are shorter and more precise.

Finland

Children in Finland receive little to no homework a week and students only ever sit one final exam at the age of 16! Despite the lack of homework and exams, Finland’s education reforms are proving successful and have seen them climb the international education ranks, ranking 1st in the UN Education Index with countries like Denmark, Australia and New Zealand.

In comparison, children in the UK receive on average 5-6 hours of homework a week. Furthermore, children in the UK sit SAT exams aged 10-11 and then their final GCSE exams aged 15-16. Plus, It’s very common for schools to have an end of year tests for each year.

Germany

As mentioned before, in Germany most children only go to school for a total 4 – 5 hours a day with a typical school day lasting from 8 am – 12 pm. On average, like the UK most children in the OECD attend class for 6-7 hours a day.

Furthermore, students in school uniform is a common site in the UK. However, in Germany uniforms are a thing of the past and there are virtually no schools that make uniform compulsory.

Japan

In contrast, Japanese students are faced with immense pressure to succeed academically and children are known to study for almost 11 hours a day. It is very common in Japan for students to attend cram schools called ‘Juku’ from 6 pm – 9 pm. These after school classes serve as additional schooling and as a result student hardly receive much homework.

In comparison, some children in the UK are known to have extra tuition after school, however, it’s normally once or twice a week and is privately paid meaning that there are some who cannot afford it.

In addition, Japan has very traditional customs and values that it teaches to its students. For example, it’s very common for students to clean their classrooms and years. This act of community cleaning is called ‘Souji’ and promotes responsibility and community within students. It also involves helping with lunch, serving their classmates and cleaning up after.

Brazil

Due to a large amount of poverty that Brazil faces, it is common for students to have family commitments at home. As a measure, the government has introduced evening classes and a typical school day lasts till 10 pm.

Schools operate three times a day – in the morning (8 am – 1 pm), afternoon (1 pm – 5 pm) and evening (5 pm – 10 pm) with children going to one of three. This school reform allows children the chance to attend school whilst not interfering with other family commitments.

 

Test your knowledge! We’ve included a quiz for you to test how well you know schools around the world.

 

Every year in September students all over the UK return to schools. This busy time normally sees a surge of parents and students rushing around to prepare for the new academic year. The same that happens in the UK can be said for part of Europe too.

However, although many countries in Europe and the Northern hemisphere see a similarity between students and their education system, you would be wrong to assume that going to school around the world is a universal experience.

For example, in the UK, the average school day lasts from 8 am – 3.30pm, but did you know that for children in Germany, an average school day lasts no more than 4 hours, from 8 am – 12 pm?

The education a student receives largely depends on the country’s history, culture and values. There are certainly many different practices around the world and all of them surprisingly yielding different results.

For example, some countries believe that the ‘traditional’ education system where students are taught through rote learning and repetition, is the key to a successful education. However, in other parts of the world, students receive more of a vocational education and learn a trade that can potentially be more beneficial to them in the long run.

Furthermore, some systems of education believe that students should learn valuable facts and information, encouraging critical thinking and autonomy. Whereas on the other hand, there are some that believe that the primary function of an education is to shape and mould students into future workers and citizens of society. Regardless of the model, education is certainly a fundamental institution in a person’s learning and development.

Here’s a list of how schools vary around the world and how they compare to schools in the UK.

Russia

Russia is the country with the least number of taught hours in all the OECD.

You would imagine that a country that excels in so many areas such as maths and physics, students would be studying day and night, spending as many hours as possible in school. However, the truth is that in Russia, students receive no more than 470 taught hours a year. That’s 244 hours less a year that children in the UK.

Part of the reason this is that, in many areas in Russia, people endure harsh cold weather meaning that it’s not always possible to go to school. In addition, the Russian education system encourages rote learning and memorisation, meaning that schools days are shorter and more precise.

Finland

Children in Finland receive little to no homework a week and students only ever sit one final exam at the age of 16! Despite the lack of homework and exams, Finland’s education reforms are proving successful and have seen them climb the international education ranks, ranking 1st in the UN Education Index with countries like Denmark, Australia and New Zealand.

In comparison, children in the UK receive on average 5-6 hours of homework a week. Furthermore, children in the UK sit SAT exams aged 10-11 and then their final GCSE exams aged 15-16. Plus, It’s very common for schools to have an end of year tests for each year.

Germany

As mentioned before, in Germany most children only go to school for a total of 4 – 5 hours a day with a typical school day lasting from 8 am – 12 pm. On average, like the UK most children in the OECD attend class for 6-7 hours a day.

Furthermore, students in school uniform is a common site in the UK. However, in Germany uniforms are a thing of the past and there are virtually no schools that make uniform compulsory.

Japan

In contrast, Japanese students are faced with immense pressure to succeed academically and children are known to study for almost 11 hours a day. It is very common in Japan for students to attend cram schools called ‘Juku’ from 6 pm – 9 pm. These after school classes serve as additional schooling and as a result student hardly receive much homework.

In comparison, some children in the UK are known to have extra tuition after school, however, it’s normally once or twice a week and is privately paid meaning that there are some who cannot afford it.

In addition, Japan has very traditional customs and values that it teaches to its students. For example, it’s very common for students to clean their classrooms. This act of community cleaning is called ‘Souji’ and promotes responsibility and community within students. It also involves helping with lunch, serving their classmates and cleaning up after.

Brazil

Due to a large amount of poverty that Brazil faces, it is common for students to have family commitments at home. As a measure, the government has introduced evening classes and a typical school day lasts till 10 pm.

Schools operate three times a day – in the morning (8 am – 1 pm), afternoon (1 pm – 5 pm) and evening (5 pm – 10 pm) with children going to one of three. This school reform allows children the chance to attend school whilst not interfering with other family commitments.

 

Test your knowledge! We’ve included a quiz for you to test how well you know schools around the world.

 

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