How much time should K-12 students spend at school during a calendar year?

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    Education for a child is not an activity that takes place in a short time but it is a process. As we know, knowledge is infinite, the ability to receive, store information in the brain of a child has always had a certain limit. Most teachers, parents always want the child to learn as much as possible by thinking “better than missing”. Major learning is taking place at the school so there are some frequently asked questions that are set out to discuss and get mixed opinions as How much time should K-12 students spend at school a day? How long should student summer work?

   In my opinion, how much a child should stay in school for a day depends on many other factors such as family circumstances, educational program content, educational goals of the school. Children spend a lot of time studying in school for some of reasons:

  •  They have more opportunity to learn.
  • Parents do not have to worry about where their children are going while they are being in the workplace.
  • It will help us become more globally competitive than the rest of the world.

How much time children in the world are in school?

  According to statistics:

  • At American schools, thirty states require schools to have a 180-day calendar, two ask for more than 181 school days and the rest ask for between 171 and 179 days on the official school calendar each year.
  • Korea has the highest required number of school days (225), followed by Japan at 223 and China at 221.
  • Canadian requirements are close to the U.S., at 188 days, and England is at 190 days.
  • In Indonesia, school starts the lesson at 7am in the morning. Basically, we get back to home at 4 pm.

Each country will have different rules regarding the duration of the student’s education in a school year. I only offer some countries so that we can see the richness in the topic we are discussing.

How many hours do Vietnamese students spend in school?

   There are two types of schools in Vietnam from kindergarten to high school: students just need to study in the morning or afternoon and they must studying both morning and afternoon. In the morning, students usually start school at 7am and end at 11am. At the end of the day, they start school at 1pm and return home at 5pm. In addition, they spend nearly 3 months in the summer. During this time, most of the schools were closed but some still taught summer programs.

   The difference between Vietnam and some other countries is that students do not have breaks between semesters. Instead, they will get a longer vacation.

   Students study whole day at the school in accordance with the general needs of the people in Vietnam. If their children just be at school in the morning or afternoon, they will always worry their children will not have caregivers for the rest of the day while they are working in the company or the field.

How much time should students stay in school during the day?


   It does not matter to me how long children spend at school in a day, in my opinion, as schools teach students how to participate in activities during school time. Imagine, a child just needs at school in the morning of afternoon but during that time, the teacher is only interested in “filling” the knowledge into the child’s brain. In contrast, students must study all day at school, but the school curriculum always provides opportunities for children to find fun in learning, students are involved in activities to develop life skills, … Now, the time of learning sparse or short is not so important.

Making school, class like a second home; teachers, friends like family members; lessons as life experiences; … I believe we will not even worry about how much learning is enough.


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