In this modern age, people recognize more and more the importance of education. Still, going to school is not the same experience for every person. In fact, the ways that schools operate may change depending on where you live. Even the things that you think are basic facts about school are not necessarily universal. In Japan, you move onto the next grade level even if you fail your classes or have poor attendance due to a bigger emphasis being placed on entrance exams.
Bright Side has collected some of the most interesting facts about what schools around the world have to offer their students.
1. In New Delhi, there is a school under a bridge.
Beneath the Delhi metro bridge, there is a school without any walls. This free school offers education to the children of impoverished migrant laborers, daily wage workers, and seasonal farmers — often by the hundreds.
2. South Korean students can be in school for up to 16 hours a day.
In South Korea, a standard day of school lasts from 8 AM until 4 PM, which is still pretty long compared to most countries. However, many students also attend a private school in the evening hours from 6 PM to 9 PM for intensive revision.
3. In Japan, some schools offer unisex school uniforms.
Japanese school uniforms are simply iconic thanks to Sailor Moon, but a recent change might make the country’s school uniforms stand out: unisex school uniforms. Allegedly, while this has popped up in some schools, Japan intends to require this uniform to be enforced in all schools at some point in the future.
4. In Bangladesh, school sometimes takes place on a boat.
Around 70% of Bangladesh’s total land area is less than a meter above sea level and boasts a large population of school-aged children, so people have to get creative when local schools are impacted by floods. The ultimate way to protect a school during a flood is to host a school on a boat. Reportedly, these floating schools are normally powered by solar panels.
5. Dutch students start school on their fourth birthday.
In the Netherlands, children actually start school on their fourth birthday. The idea is that students start school on the same mental level as their classmates. It also means that students join classes throughout the year, which has to make for quite the setup.
6. Shoes can be optional in Oceanic schools.
In some of the countries of Oceania, such as Australia and New Zealand, students are not required to wear shoes at school. Often, kids are required to arrive and leave with shoes, but they are not required to keep them on during class. However, this rule can depend on the weather.
7. There’s a school in Scotland that has boys wear kilts as part of their uniform.
Around the world, girls often wear skirts that resemble kilts as part of the official school uniform. In Scotland, there is a school called James Gillespie’s that made kilts part of the school uniform for the boys too. Reportedly, the school’s boys liked the kilts so much that support for the change was unanimous.
8. In Tokyo, children can be asked to wear special headgear while walking to school.
In some countries around the world, children normally walk to school, especially in urban areas. Over the years, however, schools have implemented different ways to protect their children during the trip. In Tokyo, after the area was impacted by tsunamis and earthquakes, children had been asked to wear protective headgear as they go to school and leave for home.
9. In India, there are all kinds of ways children get to school.
The way children get to school around the world is not always consistent. In India, for example, children travel to school by bullock carts, horse carts, rickshaws, bikes, public transport, and private school buses, among other devices.
10. In Germany, there’s a school shaped like a giant cat.
There are all kinds of schools around the world: some big, some small. In Germany, there is even a school shaped like a giant white cat. Kindergarten Wolfartsweier in Karlsruhe allows children to enter through the cat’s mouth, study and play within the cat’s belly, and leave through its tail which is also a slide.
11. There’s a school in Ohio where students study in cubicles.
Allegedly, school is meant to train you for the real world, and some schools actually do try harder than others to make the future happen now. One type of charter school known as Carpe Diem schools, allows students to study in an environment resembling a work cubicle. These schools have become a growing trend in the United States, popping up in Texas, Ohio, and Indiana.
12. In Russia, the first day of school is one big holiday.
In Russia, the first day of school is called Knowledge Day and it’s a big event. The first day of school is always September 1st, even if it takes place on a holiday or a weekend. There are assemblies with music, poetry, and inspirational speeches. Young girls wear ribbons and children give flowers to their teachers. It’s such a big event, Olympic medalists have even been known to visit schools in honor of the holiday.
13. Some countries offer kindergarten outside.
A lot of colleges boast outdoor classes, but some places like to start even earlier than that. Forest kindergartens allow young children to have classes outside in the beauty of nature. These types of schools appear throughout the world such as in the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Czech Republic.
14. Children of the Arctic tundra have to travel to school by helicopter.
The Nenets are people who live in the Arctic and they turn to state-run boarding schools to help their kids get an education. Helicopters help to pick up the children and take them to school where they stay for 9 months before returning home. Obviously, they’re not using the helicopters every day, but twice a year has got to be more times than most people ride in a helicopter.
15. In Brooklyn, there’s a school with no grades, tests, or homework.
All kids wish they could attend a school without tests or homework. Well, in Brooklyn, they can! The Brooklyn Free School, inspired by similar progressive schools from the 1960s, don’t have tests, grades, or homework. Classes are also non-compulsory. Students even participate in the school’s governance with their votes counting equal to staff. In addition to that, children as old as 18 attend classes so this isn’t just a fancy preschool.
16. One Danish school replaced classrooms with “study zones”.
The Ørestad Gymnasium is a school without classrooms. Instead, they have individual zones, group zones, and meeting places. If you’re in good weather, you’ll be able to learn about the water space. Inside there are “drums” where you can sit and think. It also helps to have “virtual classrooms” which hold classes that are entirely taught by computers and iPads.
Bonus: Remember to appreciate the opportunity and privilege of an education.
While there are many types of schools around the world, education is important and we should remember not to take it for granted.
Is there anything unique about your school or other schools you’ve heard of? Which of the schools above surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments below!