Every parent wants their kid do well in life. We choose our next house based on the quality of schools around it, and pick our friends according to how they can get us further in life. Below you will find a few facts from the world’s schools you might never have heard of. In case you are interested in novel ideas of educating your kids, you should check out the list and decide for yourself whether the policies and customs serve kids’ best interest.
1. Starting Your School on Your Birthday in the Netherlands
For many of us, a child’s 4th birthday should be the time for celebration and spending time with family members. In the Netherlands, however, kids have to start school on their birthday. In case you are a Dutch parent and have been planning a birthday party, you might hold it early or postpone it, as your kid will be too exhausted in the first week after starting school. On the positive side, classrooms grow during the school year, so kids don’t have to see the same faces every day.
2. Long School Days in Korea
In Korea, the standard school day for elementary kids is five hours, middle school kids go to school for eight hours a day, and this is increased to 12 when they reach high school age. At the same time, high school kids have to study 11 subjects simultaneously. To think that your kid is spending more time at school than you at work can be disturbing. In the country, the tests are also extremely difficult, and considered to be the most challenging in the world. Kids take their exams on one day, and spend 9.5 hours completing them.
3. No Grades in Finland until Grade 3
The laid back system in Finland doesn’t use grades until the kids get to Grade 3. This policy applies to all schools. Instead of taking tests, children get assessed on an individual basis by the teachers. At the same time, Finnish schools are among the best in the world, even though the first national test is taken when kids are in year 12. It is easy to understand why teachers are more relaxed in Finland: they don’t have to constantly compete with other schools’ results.
4. Clean Your Classroom: the Japanese Example
In Japan, kids are expected to walk to school and home on their own. They are taught independence and responsibility. After finishing in the classroom, they need to clean up after themselves. In Japanese schools, there are no canteens, and every child has a bento box, or a lunch box, with skillfully arranged food inside.
5. Three-course Meals in French Schools
We all know that the French like their food. In schools, children who sign up for meals will not have the option to just buy a sandwich and a drink. Most schools in France serve a 3-course lunch. Schools pay a lot of attention to nutritional values, and kids are expected to eat everything. Instead of giving in and serving burgers and hot dogs, the strict French create culinary examples of the cuisine. There is no information on whether or not snails are on the school menu.
6. Six Weeks off During Christmas in Australia
Instead of having a long summer holiday in Australia, kids are off for six weeks during Christmas. It makes sense considering that in the summer there is little daylight or sunshine in that part of the world. At the same time, in Chile, there is a summer vacation between December and March. Kids get three whole months off school after Christmas, almost until Easter. They do go to school regularly during the rest of the year, and make up for the long break.
7. Indian School with 32,000 Kids
Image by Public Domain Pictures
In India’s busy Northern city of Lucknow, the City Montessori School has around 32,000 students. According to the latest statistics, however, today the population of the school is even greater. At present they have 55,000 pupils, and has entered the Guinness Book of Records in 2013. If you think that due to the high number of students the quality of care and education suffered, you are mistaken. In 2002, the UNESCO awarded this huge school the Prize for Peace Education.
8. Family Meals in Brazil
We all know that in South America family counts more than anything. However, the government has gone even further, and adjusted the school day in a way that kids can be home in time to eat lunch with their parents. The regular school day starts at 7:00 a. m. and finishes at noon. That means kids only have to sit through three sessions each day.
9. The Highest School Is over 5,000 Meters Above Sea Level
Kids stay fit when attending this school in Phumachangtang, Tibet. Kids going to this school are from nomadic tribes, and are used to moving around. Most kids get free school meals and boarding, due to the location of the institution. While this school might be different from the regular boarding school experience you can read about at Educators.co.uk, the number of students is growing year by year.
From accommodating special family habits and needs to looking after children’s diet, there are plenty of ways schools around the world try to adjust the experience to the expectations of parents and kids. While the time when children need to start regularly going to school varies from one country to another, the principle is the same. They need to sit in a classroom between 5 and 12 hours, take tests, and get assessed. Some schools make them clean the classroom, while others treat them with a 3-course lunch. No matter where in the world you live, you will need to choose the educational institution that suits your needs as well as your child’s. The above weird facts about schools around the world might make you realize how lucky you are that you have a choice of schools.