STM News

Schools around the world and how we differ

Grace Miholic, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

All around the world students are educated in different ways. From things as simple as the beginning of school, to others as tedious as grading scales, schooling around the world is vastly different from one another.

The age for starting school varies from place to place, but according to the Oxford Royale Academy all Dutch students start after their fourth birthdays. This could mean a child joining a class in the middle of the year, but this often solves the problem of late birthdays.

In Germany, O.R.A. adds, they don’t start primary school until age seven, having simpler schooling such as kindergarten before then. By age seven in Canada, Ethan Garnier, a Canadian student, comments, children are already in the second grade.

Canadian students don’t have a separate “junior high” either, Zach Pottie, another Canadian student, says, “All of elementary and what would be your junior high is mixed together until high school, or ninth grade.”

Each country grades differently in secondary school, so while the U.S. and Guatemala have a grading scale A-F averaging through 100%, places like Mexico and the Netherlands have a 10 point grading scale according to and Thomas Van de velde (a Dutch student). Mathilde Eidsvk also adds that in Norway the grading scale is 6 point.

Starting in ninth grade schools seriously begin to diverge in teaching methods, homework loads, and school day lengths.

In the very rigorous curriculum of South Korea students can spend up to 16 hours at a desk working a day according to O.R.A. While the time working is long and difficult the homework load for the week is fairly light at around 2.9 hours reported by

In certain schools in Norway, Mathilde Eidsvk (a Norwegian student) explains, times for classes vary by day of the week, some significantly longer than others. She explains that some school days are hours longer than others.

Some countries seem to benefit from the laid back setting of school, but Russia does not mess around when school and academic endeavors are involved. Explained by, Russia holds the world’s highest literacy rate (95%). The country also assigns the most homework a week at 9.7 hours. Students in Russia must take an exit exam to be admitted to college, so much of this homework time is put aside for preparation.

In the U.S., homework levels ranked out of twelve countries ranked third. as reported by Students on average have 6.1 hours of homework a week, which according to the Brookings Institute does not seem to show in national testing scores.

In the United States test scores, especially in math have plummeted in relation to other countries. Though the United States spends the most money on education (, on the PISA exam, a worldwide test, the U.S. scored the lowest math score in our time taking the test with a score of 470/1000 according to the Brookings Institute.

Overall, the scores were not completely disgraceful. “The U.S. score in reading is tied for 23rd place, but its true ranking is more complicated than that: When statistical significance is taken into account, 14 systems scored higher than the U.S., 13 scored about the same, and a considerable 42 scored lower,” says Brookings Institute.

The Student News Site of St. Thomas More Catholic High School
Schools around the world and how we differ