24 August 2018

Around The World Back-To-School Quiz

Every September, schools in the UK and across the northern hemisphere welcome students back to school. With the summer holiday almost at an end, stores nationwide are preparing for the return of students to their classrooms. And for a lot of parents, the hassle of buying new school uniforms, new school stationary, and other school related items will soon be upon us.

To mark this academic occasion, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most interesting facts about schools around the world. Take the 8-question quiz before to test your knowledge on some of the different way’s children are educated around the world (it wouldn’t be a back-to-school season without homework, right?)

So, classroom, how did you do? Below you’ll find the answers.

Finnishing On Top

Finland is known to have one of the brightest populations of the world, with a 100% literacy rate. In such a country one might imagine that homework and exams are a regular occurrence… but you’d be wrong!

On average, Finnish children have no more than 3 hours of homework per week (it’s around 5-6 hours on average a week in the UK). In addition, students don’t have exams or grades until they reach 16, at which point they sit one final exam. Critics in Finland believe that constant evaluation creates a teaching-to-test environment in schools, which doesn’t improve student’s ability to learn.

Furthermore, children in Finland are given a mandatory 15-minute break for every 40-45 minutes of class time, as studies have found more play time reduces levels of anxiety and other mental health issues.

Making A Brazilian

Ever feel like the student-teacher ratio just isn’t up to scratch? In Brazil, the student population is so large it’s become common for a regular school day to be split into three sessions - 7am to 12pm, 12pm to 5pm, and 5pm to 10pm. Children would normally attend one session per day throughout the year.

A lot of families in Brazil face crippling poverty, meaning many children are pulled out of school early to work and help raise money for their stuggling families. As a way to resolve this problem, the government introduced evening classes to support students with commitments at home.

Midday in Germany

If going home at midday sounds perfect to your kids, don’t tell them about Germany! A typical school day in Germany starts from 8.15am and ends around 12pm-1.30pm (depending on age). With just 4 to 5 hours of school a day, that’s 3 hours less than children in the UK.

If you thought that was unfair, France used to give students a home day on Wednesdays. Unfortunately, since 2014, this privilege was taken away by the government, meaning now a long lunch break is all students get (90mins in total).

Russia-ing Through School

Children in Russia on average only have a total of 470 taught hours a year (compared to the average 714 hours in the UK) meaning they have the lowest number of school hours in the OECD! School days are also broken up into two parts, with children attending just 5 hours either from 8am to 1pm, or 2pm to 6pm.

Cramming in Japan

Children in Japan start school at 7am, but instead of doing homework in the evening it is very common for children to attend ‘cram schools’, called ‘Juku’. Cram schools normally go from 6pm to 9pm, meaning the average Japanese student studies for 12 hours a day!

In addition, as part of their education, students take part in “o-soji” (“cleaning”), which involves cleaning classrooms, halls and yards. The purpose of which is to create a sense of community and common responsibility. In Japan it is also common practice for students to lunch together in their classrooms, with small teams of students taking it in turns to serve lunch to their classmates, again to reinforce responsibility and boost self-confidence.