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Quality of primary education in selected countries 2017-2018

Finland had the highest quality of primary education in the world in 2017, with an index score of 6.7. The index runs on scale of one (low quality) to seven (very good). Switzerland, Singapore, the Netherlands, and Estonia rounded out the top five for countries with the highest quality of primary education.

A solid foundation

Primary school age children are generally between the ages of six and eleven years old. Primary school is the first stage of formal education and consists of general knowledge and fundamental skills in areas like mathematics, reading, writing, and science, with student enrollment rates being particularly high in advanced economies. This helps young students to form a solid base for further study as they get older.

Primary education in the United States

Primary schools in the United States, where they are called elementary schools, can be either private or public institutions with enrollment in public schools generally higher than in private schools. Education from the age of five is mandatory in the U.S., whether that be through the state-funded public school system, private schooling, or through an approved home school program. Depending on state law, students can leave school between the ages of 16 and 18 years.

Quality of primary education across countries index 2017-2018

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Release date

September 2017



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

In the source this question is preceded by the following explanation: "Primary schools in your country are (1 = of poor quality, 7 = among the best in the world)." The statistics only depicts a selection of countries. The number in parentheses indicates the international placement according to the source.

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Statistics on "Education in Singapore"

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