In Brazil the basic education system consists of eight years of elementary school, plus three years of high school for a total of eleven years.
In most other countries, the total of elementary and high school is twelve years, although there are variations in how that total is reached. Here are some examples.
Each of the fifty states in the US has its own educational system and there are variations.
But, in general, elementary schooling in the US lasts for eight years, as in Brazil.
However, whereas reading and writing is taught to children beginning at the age of six in the US, in Brazil that only begins at the age of seven.
High School in the US lasts for four years. A total of twelve years of basic education is now mandatory in the US and must be provided in free, public schools.
In Brazil’s neighbor, as in the US, states (or provinces, as they are called in Argentina) have their own educational systems which vary.
Children begin to study at the age of six. In some provincial systems the elementary level has seven years, others eight. Some have three “cycles” of three years each, for a total of nine years.
What all the provincial systems have in common is that, by the end of high school, which can be three or four years, all students have had twelve years in school.
And in Argentina, in spite of the variety of systems, classroom subject matter is carefully standardized nationwide.
Upon completion of high school, students who want to continue to university must do a mandatory preparatory course. There are no university entrance exams (like the “vestibular” in Brazil).
Education by cycles is the system. The first cycle lasts two years and begins when a child is only two or three years of age.
At the age of four, students enter the second cycle, a preparatory period, that lasts until the child is seven.
From the age of seven to eleven, French children go to elementary school (the same as the first four grades).
At the age of twelve, the children go into a second cycle of basic education (taking them to what would be the end of elementary school).
That is followed by three more years (high school).
After that, students who want to go to university have to take an entrance exam similar to the Brazilian “vestibular,” but which, differently from the Brazilian version, is valid for all the universities in the country.
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