Fundamental = Grade 1 to Grade 9
Medium = Grade 10 to Grade 12.
Superior = University
We have 2 systems, the public and private. I studied all my life in the public one and it changes a little from state to state, so I'll talk about the public system in my state.
For the Fundamental, the first 2 grades are basically about teaching how to read, write and do simple math. By the fourth grade the student is expected to be able to read and write and perform the four basic mathematical operations.
From the fifth grade we started to have different teachers for each subject and the subjects are more specialized.
As far as I can remember the subjects are:
English or Spanish as a second language. My school taught English.
Religious Education (it should be about all religions, but it is basically Catholicism)
Then we start the "Medium" level. I don't know how to translate it, but is our High School
Nothing changes much, just a few more subjects than in the Fundamental.
Portuguese breaks in two separate subjects
Sciences breaks in 3 subjects
Religious Education - Hated this crap
Then we have the dreaded "ENEM" - National Exam that decides your life XD
It changed in the past years, but is basically a 2 day test with 180 questions and a essay.
The score in this test will define where we go for university
Here the public and private system changes a lot. For rule the Public Superior System is far more better than the private one. If you want to follow an Academic path, the public universities is for you.
With the ENEM score in hands we can register ourselves in the SISU - Unified Selection System for the Public Universities. Is a 4 day hell when we smash the refresh button to check if we have a score high enough for the courses and schools that we want to go. We can change our options until the last day.
A few Public Universities have their own selections, usually four days of exams.
Private universities also have their own selection systems. I had one month of trips to do tests in several cities.
I think this covers most of the basic system.
Now about some random things
- School time depends with "shift" you study.
Morning - 7am to 12pm
Afternoon 1pm to 6pm
Evening (Only in the High School level) 7pm to 23pm
- We don't have lunch. School ends around lunch time here. Instead we have a 20 minute break around 10pm to take a snack. The school provides food, but most of the students rarely ate school food.
- The school year begins in late February and ends in the middle of December (usually 1 week before Christmas). And have a two week break in July
- The public system is 100% free from kindergarten to university.
- It changes from school to school, but we have to use uniforms.
- School start when we are 6 years old and finishes at 17
- School books are free in the public system, some states provides the uniform and some suplies as well.