How do students around the world learn? Teachers write with chalk on blackboards nearly everywhere, but their classrooms differ greatly. Some pupils sit on makeshift benches outside, while some sit cross-legged on the floor and others sit in front of their laptops.
South Korea relies heavily on digital media in education. Computers and the Internet are available in every classroom, and the government aims to replace all textbooks with e-books. In order to make a digital education available to low income households, children from poorer families can receive tablet PCs for free.
Learning doesn't have to be digitized, as this classroom with a propped up chalkboard and wooden benches suggests. Compared with its neighbors, Ghana has a relatively high literacy rate since the first six years of schooling are free. On paper, students are required to go to school for nine years. But children in the countryside often can't speak the official language of instruction - English.
The pupils in this German school never use pencils and notebooks, but smartboards and netbooks instead. The goal is to promote digital interaction and strengthen media competency among the learners. Official statistics suggest that everyone in Germany can read and write, but other figures show that the country is home to around two million illiterate people.
In industrialized countries, going to school means much more than getting a basic education. In Iowa, USA, these four-year-olds listen intently to their teacher. Industrial and emerging-economy countries stress early education, and around 70 percent of children begin formal learning before elementary school. In developing countries, just three out of every 10 children go to pre-school.
In Kenya, all children are able to go to school for eight years for free. But many stop drop out before then. The required school uniforms, shoes, books, notebooks and pens are unaffordable for many parents. Public school classrooms are poorly equipped and overflowing with pupils, which doesn't make for an ideal learning environment. Those who can afford it send their children to private schools.
In England, most pupils attend school in uniform. It is believed that uniforms help them identify with the school and concentrate better on learning. But in contrast to developing countries, families who cannot afford the uniform can still send their children to school, since public funding for uniforms is available.
When schools aren't available, a bit of improvisation is called for - like here in Pakistan, where students are being taught in a public park. Pakistan has reduced its education budget and invests more in its military than in schools. The students are more aware of that than anyone.
In Afghanistan, significant segments of the population grew up with no access to education as a result of civil war and the Taliban's reign. Just one in every 10 women can read and write, and only 40 percent of men are literate. There are still not enough schools in Afghanistan, and both teachers and materials are lacking.
The situation is similar in South Sudan, where just one in five women can read and write. Educating girls there has become a major goal for aid organizations from abroad. Years of civil war have left behind a failing school system. Seats and tables are missing in the few schools that exist, and books are present in only half of the schools.
Co-ed classes? Not in Iran. Boys and girls learn in strict separation from one another. Even in this Jewish girls' school, the Islamic dress code must be respected, since Islam is the official state religion. All girls and women must cover their hair regardless of their personal religious affiliation.
Pupils in rural areas of Brazil often have to learn in under-equipped schools, as in the case here in Monte Alegre in the state of Marnhao. Although Brazil is considered a robust industrial country, the cleft between rich and poor is immense. Some of the poorest people in Brazil belong to agricultural communities in the northeastern part of the country.
How do students around the world learn? Teachers write with chalk on blackboards nearly everywhere. But their classrooms differ greatly.