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close this bookEducational Innovation and Information - Number 096 (IBE, 1998, 8 p.)
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View the documentINSTRUCTIONAL TIME AND TEACHING SUBJECTS DURING THE FIRST FOUR YEARS OF PRIMARY EDUCATION
View the documentWCCES NEWS - REPORT ON THE TENTH WORLD CONGRESS OF COMPARATIVE EDUCATION, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, 12-17 JULY 1998

INSTRUCTIONAL TIME AND TEACHING SUBJECTS DURING THE FIRST FOUR YEARS OF PRIMARY EDUCATION

A previous issue of Innovation (No. 92, September 1997) included a synthesis of the situation concerning the length of primary studies and preliminary data on the number of class hours at this level in sixty-seven education systems (in the public sector). The second edition of the CD-ROM World data on education (WDE), published by the International Bureau of Education in May 1998, contains revised and additional data coming from eighty-six systems.

In this issue of Innovation we are presenting updated information on the number of class hours during the first four years of primary education in 102 education systems. We are also including a preliminary synthesis of data coming from sixty-one systems on the percentage of curricular time allocated to particular subjects in the first and the fourth years of primary studies.

Table 1 shows the average number of hours devoted to teaching (instructional time) during the first four years of primary education in the different geographical areas. For reasons of space, information concerning individual countries/systems of each region is not presented here and will be included in the 1999 edition of WDE.

The number of class hours has been calculated taking into account policy guidelines and official regulations in terms of: (a) the length of the school year (number of working days or weeks); (b) the curricular structure and timetable; (c) the duration in minutes of teaching periods in each grade. In other words, data refer to the number of hours of instruction that primary pupils should theoretically receive in each year.

Table 1 also includes the averages for Canada and United States (see Tables 2 and 3 for details). The regulations consulted provide for the minimum amount of class hours to be received by pupils at the primary level. As we will see below, the United States’ data coming from the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) suggest that the actual amount of instructional time is higher than the average included in Table 1. The average for education systems of Western Europe also refers in general to the minimum amount of hours of instruction.

On the other hand, a considerable body of evidence suggests that primary pupils in developing countries tend to receive less than the officially required number of class hours (see the discussion on this point in Innovation, No. 92). For example, reduced time available for instruction due to strikes, teacher absenteeism and time spent on administrative tasks is well documented in Latin America (see: Organization of American States, Education in the Americas: quality and equity in the globalization process,1998). The average for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the major part of education systems face well-known problems (overcrowded classrooms, poor facilities, lack of teaching materials, untrained teachers, to mention only some of the most widespread), tell us nothing about the real situation in schools - which may be very different - or the effective use of actual time available for teaching.

Bearing this caution in mind, Table 1 shows that the total number of class hours during the first to fourth primary grades is, on average, around 3,000 hours and tends to be greater in developing countries (3,108 hours, N=66 education systems) compared with the more developed countries (2,849 hours, N=38 including Canada and USA averages). In regional terms, the total amount of instructional time ranges from a minimum of 2,273 hours (Central Europe and former USSR) to a maximum of 3,253 hours (Sub-Saharan Africa). These averages notwithstanding, it is in education systems of developed countries in Western Europe and North America (Canada and USA) that we find the highest average number of hours of instruction (3,384 hours).

How is available time allocated to teaching subjects in primary education curricula? Information on this issue focuses on the first four years of this cycle of studies and is basically drawn from official curricular timetables (N=61 education systems). Tables 4 to 13 present data coming from individual countries/systems in the different regions concerning the proportion of time allocated to given subjects in the first and fourth years of primary education. Figures 1 to 10 show the estimated percentage of curricular time assigned to teaching subjects by geographic area in the same grades. Data from countries in Latin America and the Caribbean were still incomplete for the purposes of this analysis and are not included here. Unless otherwise specified, all information refers to the public sector and comes from WDE (1998 and the forthcoming 1999 edition). In the case of Western Europe, data from Greece and Denmark are drawn from EURYDICE, the education information network of the European Union (Eurybase-National systems of education).

Estimated averages by geographic area are summarized in Figures 11 and 12. Generally speaking, the information presented in these two figures confirms the conclusions of previous studies, in the sense that: ‘curricular offerings and the relative emphasis on different subjects, whether compared across groups of countries or across time periods, reveal a high degree of homogeneity and consistency’ (A. Benavot and D. Kames, The curricular content of primary education in developing countries, Washington, DC, The World Bank, 1989, p. 48). Thus, on average, in the first year of primary education more than 50% of total instructional time is devoted to language(s) skills and arithmetic/mathematics (Sub-Saharan Africa, 68%; Asia and the Pacific, 59%; Central Europe and former USSR, 57%; Middle East and North Africa, 55%; Western Europe, 52%); this proportion tends to decrease by the fourth year, but still represents around one-half or more of total curricular time (Sub-Saharan Africa, 62%; Asia and the Pacific, 50%; Central Europe and former USSR, 55%; Middle East and North Africa, 47%; Western Europe, 50%).

In terms of the most evident regional differences, one may note that countries in Sub-Saharan Africa assign the highest percentage of curricular time to language(s) instruction (see Figures 1 and 2), while education systems in the Middle East and North Africa place a particular emphasis on religion (see Tables 10 and 11). This pattern has already been reported in previous studies referring to the 1980s (see Benavot and Kames, op. cit.), and is confirmed also for the second half of the 1990s. In addition, it can be observed that early exposure to an additional language - as a subject or as a medium of instruction - starting from the fourth year of primary education (or even earlier) is a general pattern followed especially by education systems in Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Europe.

TABLE 1. Average number of class hours during the first four years of primary education(public sector)

Region/group

Number of class hours per year
(1st-4th)


1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Total

Asia & the Pacific (N=15)

743

750

799

831

3 123

Central Europe and former USSR (N=13)

515

555

586

617

2 273

Latin America & the Caribbean (N=21)

755

755

769

769

3 048

Middle East & North Africa (N=16)

742

742

770

808

3 062

Sub-Saharan Africa (N=16)

781

788

836

848

3 253

Western Europe (N=21)

736

748

781

813

3 078

All systems (N=102)

721

730

764

786

3 001

Canada average (N=7)

922

922

922

922

3 688

USA average (N=22)

886

886

886

923

3 581

Average developing (N=66)

754

756

790

809

3 108

Average developed (N=38)

674

695

725

755

2 849

Western Europe and North America average (N=50)

828

833

847

876

3 384

Note:

For the purpose of this analysis, countries have been grouped by geographical region and not according to UNESCO’s official groupings of Member States.

Sources:

International Bureau of Education, World data on education, 1998 and 1999 (forthcoming). Some additional information is drawn from the following sources: European Unit of EURYDICE, Eurybase(National systems of education), 1996-98; OrganizaciĆ³n de Estados Iberoamericanos, Sistemas educativos nacionales [National systems of education], 1994-1996; T.N. Postlethwaite, ed., International encyclopaedia of national systems of education, 1995. For Canada and USA averages, see tables 2 and 3.

TABLE 2. United States of America: minimum amount of class hours during the first four years of primary education (public sector)

State

Duration
(years)

Class hours per year (1st-4th)

Total class hours



1st

2nd

3rd

4th


Connecticut

...

900

900

900

900

3 600

Florida

...

720

720

720

900

3 060

Georgia

...

810

810

810

810

3 240

Idaho

...

810

810

810

900

3 330

Illinois

...

880

880

880

880

3 520

Indiana

...

900

900

900

900

3 600

Iowa

...

990

990

990

990

3 960

Maine

...

875

875

875

875

3 500

Massachusetts

...

900

900

900

900

3 600

Michigan

...

900

900

900

900

3 600

Mississippi

...

900

900

900

900

3 600

Montana

...

720

720

720

1 080

3 240

Nebraska

...

1 032

1 032

1 032

1 032

4 128

New Hampshire

...

855

855

855

855

3 420

North Dakota

...

951

951

951

951

3 804

Ohio

...

910

910

910

910

3 640

Oregon

...

810

810

810

900

3 330

Pennsylvania

...

900

900

900

900

3 600

South Dakota

...

963

963

963

963

3 852

Virginia

...

990

990

990

990

3 960

Washington

...

900

900

900

990

3 690

Wisconsin

...

875

875

875

875

3 500

Average (22 systems)

886

886

886

923

3 581

Source: Web pages of individual states (Administrative codes, Education codes, Statutes). [...] data not available.


FIGURE 1. Africa South of Sahara: estimated percentage of curricular time assigned to each subject in the first year of primary education


FIGURE 2. Africa South of Sahara: estimated percentage of curricular time assigned to each subject in the fourth year of primary education

As far as the percentage of curricular time allocated to core subjects is concerned - language(s) skills, arithmetic/mathematics, social studies and science - estimated averages for the first four years of primary education as a whole show very little variation across geographic areas, with the exception of Sub-Saharan Africa, mainly due to the higher amount of class hours allocated to language(s). Thus, the estimated percentage of instructional time devoted to core subjects during the first to fourth grades of primary studies is 77.5% in Sub-Saharan Africa, 69% in Asia and the Pacific, 67.5% in Central Europe and former USSR, 64.5% in the Middle East and North Africa, and 65.5% in Western Europe.

TABLE 3. Canada: minimum amount of class hours during the first four years of primary education (public sector)

Province/Territory

Duration
(years)

Class hours per year
(1st-4th)

Total class hours



1st

2nd

3rd

4th


Alberta

6

950

950

950

950

3 800

British Columbia

7

879

879

879

879

3 516

Newfoundland

6

925

925

925

925

3 700

Northwest Territories

6

997

997

997

997

3 988

Nova Scotia

6

930

930

930

930

3 720

Ontario

8

925

925

925

925

3 700

Quebec

6

846

846

846

846

3 384

Average (7 systems)

922

922

922

922

3 688

Source: Web pages of provinces/territories (regulations and guidelines).

TABLE 4. Africa South of Sahara. Time allocated to each subject as a percentage of total curricular time: first year of primary education

Country/system

1st Language

2nd Language

Mathematics

Science

Social studies

Arts & music

Physical ed.

Practical skills

Religion

Moral & civics

Angola

36

-

27

7

7

14

9

-

-

-

Burundi

26

26

23

8

8

2

5

-

2

-

Cameroon

64

-

9

-

-

11

9

-

-

7

Chad

75

-

11

-

-

9

2

-

-

3

Comoros

42

4

20

6

8

8

8

-

4

-

Ethiopia

17

17

17

17

13

13

6

-

-

-

Madagascar

33

24

20

-

-

13

4

-

-

6

Mauritania

38

-

21

4

-

-

6

8

21

2

Mozambique

55

-

27

-

-

9

9

-

-

-

Niger

55

-

18

-

-

4

7

13

-

3

Sudan

39

-

19

-

-

15

8

-

19

-

U.R. Tanzania (Mainland)

33

-

33

7

-

10

10

-

7

-

Zimbabwe

29

18

13

11

8

11

-

5

-

5

TABLE 5. Africa South of Sahara. Time allocated to each subject as a percentage of total curricular time: fourth year of primary education

Country/system

1st Language

2nd Language

Mathematics

Science

Social studies

Arts & music

Physical ed.

Practical skills

Religion

Moral & civics

Angola

26

-

22

11

19

15

7

-

-

-

Burundi

13

31

26

8

8

2

5

5

2

-

Cameroon

51

3

13

3

-

7

13

7

-

3

Chad

47

19

14

4

5

5

2

-

-

4

Comoros

40

4

20

8

8

8

8

-

4

-

Ethiopia

29

14

14

14

12

11

6

-

-

-

Madagascar

24

24

21

6

10

5

4

-

-

6

Mauritania

35

19

19

4

4

4

6

3

4

2

Mozambique

40

-

24

8

8

12

8

-

-

-

Niger

41

-

18

6

7

7

7

11

-

3

Sudan

23

10

16

10

10

16

5

-

10

-

U.R. Tanzania (Mainland)

14

17

14

12

14

12

11

-

6

-

Zimbabwe

28

17

12

9

9

8

-

8

-

9

TABLE 6. Asia and the Pacific. Time allocated to each subject as a percentage of total curricular time: first year of primary education

Country/system

1st Language

2nd Language

Mathematics

Science

Social studies

Arts & music

Physical ed.

Practical skills

Religion

Moral & civics

Other

Cambodia

47

-

16

7

7

7

7

3

-

3

3

China (estimated)

33

-

21

6

4

17

13

2

-

4

-

Indonesia

33

-

33

-

-

7

7

-

7

7

6

Iran, Islamic Rep. of

50

-

21

13

-

8

8

-

-

-

-

Japan

36

-

16

-

12

16

12

-

-

4

4

Korea, Rep. of

28

-

16

8

8

16

12

-

-

8

4

Lao P.D.R.

42

-

11

4

4

7

7

4

-

-

21

Malaysia

34

18

16

-

-

9

5

-

13

-

5

Mongolia

40

-

18

5

-

18

9

5

-

5

-

Nepal

32

-

26

10

10

10

12

-

-

-

-

Philippines (estimated)

19

25

19

13

12

-

6

-

-

6

-

Sri Lanka

28

-

23

6

7

11

7

11

7

-

-

TABLE 7. Asia and the Pacific. Time allocated to each subject as a percentage of total curricular time: fourth year of primary education

Country/system

1st Language

2nd Language

Mathematics

Science

Social studies

Arts & music

Physical ed.

Practical skills

Religion

Moral & civics

Other

Cambodia

36

-

16

10

7

7

7

7

-

7

3

China (estimated)

33

-

21

6

4

17

13

2

-

4

-

Indonesia

20

-

20

15

12

5

5

-

5

5

13

Iran, Islamic Rep. of

29

-

17

12

-

17

8

-

17

-

-

Japan

28

-

17

10

10

14

10

-

-

4

7

Korea, Rep. of

22

-

15

15

11

15

11

4

-

4

3

Lao P.D.R.

28

-

21

5

5

7

7

7

-

-

20

Malaysia

23

15

15

9

9

9

4

-

12

-

4

Mongolia

30

-

21

8

8

17

8

4

-

4

-

Nepal

22

14

17

17

14

8

8

-

-

-

-

Philippines (estimated)

15

20

15

10

10

10

5

10

-

5

-

Sri Lanka

25

13

25

5

10

5

5

7

5

-

-

TABLE 8. Central Europe and former USSR. Time allocated to each subject as a percentage of total curricular time: first year of primary education

Country/system

1st Language

2nd Language

Mathematics

Science

Social studies

Arts & music

Physical ed.

Practical skills

Religion

Moral & civics

Bulgaria

36

-

18

-

5

18

18

5

-

-

Croatia

33

-

28

-

11

11

17

-

-

-

Czech Rep.

45

-

20

-

10

15

10

-

-

-

Estonia

30

-

15

-

10

25

15

5

-

-

Fed.Rep. of Yugoslavia (Montenegro)

28

-

28

5

5

17

17

-

-

-

Fed.Rep. of Yugoslavia (Serbia)

28

-

28

5

5

17

17

-

-

-

Latvia

40

-

20

5

-

25

10

-

-

-

Romania

40

5

20

-

-

15

15

-

5

-

Slovakia

43

-

19

10

-

14

14

-

-

-

Slovenia

26

-

26

8

8

16

16

-

-

-

The FYR of Macedonia

28

-

28

-

11

17

16

-

-

-


FIGURE 3. Asia and the Pacific: estimated percentage of curricular time assigned to each subject in the first year of primary education


FIGURE 4. Asia and the Pacific: estimated percentage of curricular time assigned to each subject in the fourth year of primary education


FIGURE 5. Central Europe and former USSR: estimated percentage of curricular time assigned to each subject in the first year of primary education


FIGURE 6. Central Europe and former USSR: estimated percentage of curricular time assigned to each subject in the fourth year of primary education

A report published in 1997 addresses the issue of time spent on core academic subjects - English/reading/language skills, arithmetic/mathematics, social studies/history, and science - by first to fourth grade elementary schoolteachers in the United States (see: M. Perie, D.P. Baker and S. Bobbitt, Time spent teaching core academic subjects in elementary schools: comparisons across community, school, teacher, and students’ characteristics, Washington, DC, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, February 1997). It is important to bear in mind that, unlike the information presented above - based on official curricular timetables - data analyzed in this report come from the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics in 1987/88, 1990/91, and 1993/94. SASS is: ‘a large and comprehensive dataset on elementary and secondary schools in both the public and private sectors in the United States. [It] uses a complex and random sample of schools stratified by state, sector, and school level that provides for representative estimates of (1) the nation and each affiliation for private schools and (2) the nation and each state for public schools. SASS includes separate questionnaires for private and public schools, school districts (public only), school administrators, and teachers. About four teachers were sampled from each school, although the number varied depending on the school size and sector (public or private)’ (Perie et al., op. cit., p. 5).


FIGURE 7. Middle East and North Africa: estimated percentage of curricular time assigned to each subject in the first year of primary education


FIGURE 8. Middle East and North Africa: estimated percentage of curricular time assigned to each subject in the fourth year of primary education

TABLE 9. Central Europe and former USSR. Time allocated to each subject as a percentage of total curricular time: fourth year of primary education

Country/system

1st Language

2nd Language

Mathematics

Science

Social studies

Arts & music

Physical ed.

Practical skills

Religion

Moral & civics

Bulgaria

32

-

16

8

8

16

12

8

-

-

Croatia

30

10

25

-

15

10

10

-

-

-

Czech Rep.

29

13

21

13

-

16

8

-

-

-

Estonia

20

16

20

-

8

16

12

8

-

-

Fed.Rep. of Yugoslavia (Montenegro)

22

9

22

9

9

17

8

4

-

-

Fed.Rep. of Yugoslavia (Serbia)

25

-

25

10

10

20

10

-

-

-

Latvia

38

12

17

4

-

21

8

-

-

-

Romania

30

9

17

9

7

13

9

-

4

2

Slovakia

39

-

22

9

-

13

13

4

-

-

Slovenia

23

-

23

9

14

18

13

-

-

-

The FYR of Macedonia

24

-

24

10

9

19

14

-

-

-

TABLE 10. Middle East and North Africa. Time allocated to each subject as a percentage of total curricular time: first year of primary education

Country/system

1st Language

2nd Language

Mathematics

Science

Social studies

Arts & music

Physical ed.

Practical skills

Religion

Other

Bahrain

36

-

20

8

4

12

8

-

12

-

Cyprus

43

-

18

11

-

14

7

-

7

-

Egypt

41

-

18

-

-

12

9

9

9

2

Iraq

34

-

19

13

3

9

9

-

13

-

Jordan

33

-

19

11

8

7

7

4

11

-

Kuwait

34

13

16

6

-

13

9

-

9

-

Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

32

-

24

4

-

12

12

-

16

-

Oman

37

-

16

7

3

7

7

3

20

-

Qatar

40

-

16

7

-

7

10

-

20

-

Saudi Arabia

43

-

7

-

-

7

11

-

32

-

Syrian Arab Republic

39

-

18

7

4

14

11

-

7

-

Tunisia

51

-

18

7

-

8

4

3

9

-

Turkey

40

-

17

3

20

13

7

-

-

-

Yemen

34

-

17

7

-

7

7

-

28

-

TABLE 11. Middle East and North Africa. Time allocated to each subject as a percentage of total curricular time: fourth year of primary education

Country/system

1st Language

2nd Language

Mathematics

Science

Social studies

Arts & music

Physical ed.

Practical skills

Religion

Other

Bahrain

23

17

17

10

10

10

6

-

7

-

Cyprus

38

-

19

6

13

12

6

-

6

-

Egypt

32

5

16

6

6

11

8

5

8

3

Iraq

32

-

17

9

12

9

6

3

12

-

Jordan

32

-

18

14

7

7

7

4

11

-

Kuwait

33

-

13

10

10

13

7

-

10

4

Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

24

-

20

13

10

10

10

-

13

-

Oman

20

13

17

7

7

7

6

6

17

-

Qatar

31

-

18

12

6

6

9

-

18

-

Saudi Arabia

30

-

17

7

7

3

6

-

30

-

Syrian Arab Republic

33

-

17

10

7

13

10

-

10

-

Tunisia

33

32

14

5

3

3

3

2

5

-

Turkey

20

-

17

13

13

13

7

10

7

-

Yemen

32

-

19

9

3

6

6

-

25

-

TABLE 12. Western Europe. Time allocated to each subject as a percentage of total curricular time: first year of primary education

Country/system

1st Language

2nd Language

Mathematics

Science

Social studies

Arts & music

Physical ed.

Practical skills

Religion

Moral & civics

Other

Austria

33

-

19

-

14

10

10

4

10

-

-

Belgium (French community)

32

-

18

-

11

13

7

-

7

-

12

Denmark

45

-

20

5

-

10

5

-

10

-

5

Finland (average)

26

10

18

12

2

10

10

6

6

-

-

Germany (average)

27

-

23

11

-

16

12

-

9

-

2

Greece

39

-

17

9

-

17

9

-

9

-

-

Italy

21

-

21

7

22

15

7

-

7

-

-

Luxembourg

27

3

20

10

-

10

10

-

10

-

10

Malta (average)

19

19

19

4

8

12

9

-

10

-

-

Norway (average)

30

3

18

5

6

12

8

1

9

-

8

Spain (estimated)

27

-

18

-

22

13

13

-

7

-

-

TABLE 13. Western Europe. Time allocated to each subject as a percentage of total curricular time: fourth year of primary education

Country/system

1st Language

2nd Language

Mathematics

Science

Social studies

Arts & music

Physical ed.

Practical skills

Religion

Moral & civics

Other

Austria

28

4

16

-

12

12

12

8

8

-

-

Belgium (French community)

25

-

18

7

11

11

7

-

7

3

11

Denmark

23

8

15

8

4

15

11

8

4

-

4

Finland (average)

26

10

18

12

2

10

10

6

6

-

-

Germany (average)

22

-

19

17

-

18

12

-

9

-

3

Greece

32

11

11

11

7

14

7

-

7

-

-

Italy

20

7

20

7

20

13

6

-

7

-

-

Luxembourg

20

23

17

7

-

7

10

3

10

-

3

Malta (average)

19

19

19

4

8

12

9

-

10

-

-

Norway (average)

30

3

18

5

6

12

8

1

9

-

8

Spain (estimated)

18

13

18

-

18

13

13

-

7

-

-


FIGURE 9. Western Europe: estimated percentage of curricular time assigned to each subject in the first year of primary education


FIGURE 10. Western Europe: estimated percentage of curricular time assigned to each subject in the fourth year of primary education


FIGURE 11. Estimated percentage of curricular time allocated to given subjects in the first year of primary education

In introducing the results of the study, the report notes that: ‘recent concerns about the quality of American schools have brought national attention to how teachers spend the time they have in an average school day. Many have suspected that the addition of a variety of activities at school has changed teachers’ role, and, as a result, time spent on basic core academic subjects may have dropped. [...] If teachers could spend more time teaching these core subjects, many believe the country’s education system could provide students with a better opportunity to learn the skills necessary to compete in the international business market’ (Perie et al., op. cit., p. 1).

The 1993/94 SASS data analysed in the report show that: ‘teachers in grades 1 to 4 spent an average of about 32 hours with students in school per week [...]. Public school teachers of grades 1-4 spent, on average, about 22 hours per week, or just over 4 hours per day, on core academic curriculum’ (Perie et al., op. cit., p. 8). The percentage of school time spent per week on core curriculum by 1st to 4th grade teachers in the public sector by subject was as follows: English/reading/language skills, 33.9%; arithmetic/mathematics, 16.2%; social studies/history, 9.3%; science, 8.8%; all core curriculum, 68.2% (Perie et al., op. cit., p. 9). Assuming that the average length of the school year in the United States is 180 days (36 weeks), we can estimate that public school-teachers of grades 1 to 4 spent, on average, 792 hours per year on the core curriculum in 1993/94.


FIGURE 12. Estimated percentage of curricular time allocated to given subjects in the fourth year of primary education


FIGURE 13. Estimated percentage of curricular time allocated to core subjects during the first four years of primary education

Figure 13 presents SASS data for the United States together with the information coming from different geographic areas described above. Although the two sets of data are not comparable, it is interesting to note that, in terms of the estimated percentage of curricular time allocated to core subjects during the first four years of primary education, the United States average (68.2%) shows no significant variation. In turn, what seems to make the difference is the estimated number of hours spent on core subjects over the same time span.


FIGURE 14. Estimated number of hours spent on core subjects during the first four years of primary education

Figure 14 includes estimates by geographic areas - obtained by combining data of Figure 13 and Table 1 - together with the United States average (calculated by multiplying 792 hours by four years). Again, the two sets of data are not comparable, but the difference is significant enough to assume that, worldwide, primary pupils in the United States receive the highest amount of instructional time on core subjects during the first four years of primary education.

MASSIMO AMADIO
m.amadio@ibe.unesco.org
(Original: English)