Education Indicators in Focus

Education Indicators in Focus is a recurring series of briefs that highlight specific indicators in OECD’s Education at a Glance that are of particular interest to policy makers and practitioners. They provide a detailed look into current issues in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, higher education, and adult outcomes from a global perspective, and contain an engaging mix of text, tables and charts that describe the international context of the most pressing questions in education policy and practice.

English Also available in: French

How Much Time Do Primary and Lower Secondary Students Spend in the Classroom?

  • Students in OECD countries are expected to receive a total of 7 751 hours of instruction on average during their primary and lower secondary education – the bulk of that time is compulsory.
  • In general, the higher the level of education, the greater the number of instruction hours a year.
  • Reading, mathematics and science take up around 50% of the compulsory curricular time in primary education but only 40% at the lower secondary level.
  • The wide variation in instruction hours across OECD countries suggests there is little consensus on the most effective policies related to school time.

English Also available in: French

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