Photos: Here's What Elementary School Looks Like Around the World

PHOTO: An ethnic Khmer schoolgirl practices reading at Lac Hoa Primary School, Dai Bai commune.
Chau Doan/LightRocket/Getty Images

From Costa Rica to Egypt, kids get up each morning, pack their book bags and head to school.

Some attend classes sporadically in makeshift schools, and are interrupted when civil conflicts or drug wars flare. Others study in brand new classrooms with cutting-edge technology. Some would-be students, particularly girls, are violently prevented from going to school at all.

Here is a snapshot of what elementary schools look like around the world.

It should be noted that, just as in the United States, schools vary significantly within each country and the education a student receives depends heavily on where that student lives and how much his or her family earns.

These are moments in time, glimpses of students pursuing what for many is the ticket to a better life: education.

PHOTO: Six-year-old Japanese elemetary student Seishi Nishida (2nd row L blue shirt) raises his hand along with classmates at school in Tokyo on June 11, 2013.
Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images
Japan

A young boy leads his classmates in a lesson at a school in Tokyo in 2013.

PHOTO: Children read at Towers Junior School on Windsor Road in London, Essex, United Kingdom.
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England

School children in casual uniforms read books on bean bag chairs in a colorful school in London in 2011.

PHOTO: A teacher checks students' chalk boards in a classroom whose majority of tables and benches were taken by Islamists, on the first day of schools after the French bombing of Islamist targets, on February 4, 2013 in Gao, in the north of Mali.
Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images
Mali

Students display their work on chalkboards in Gao in 2013. Most of their tables and benches were taken by Islamists after a French bombing of Islamist targets in February. The town was occupied by Islamists for a year, but taken back by Malian and French forces in January 2013.

PHOTO: Schoolchildren take a meal at Las Crucitas primary school near 'Las Crucitas Camp.'
Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images
Costa Rica

Young girls in school uniforms eat a meal that includes rice and beans at a school near Las Crucitas de Cutris in 2010.

PHOTO: Primary school students recite morning prayers and salute the Egyptian flag during their morning routine in the playground at Al-Redwan Islamic School on November 8, 2012 in the Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt.
Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images
Egypt

Young students recite morning prayers and salute the Egyptian flag during their morning routine in the playground of a private school in Cairo in 2012. The Islamic school has smaller class sizes and a better reputation than most Egyptian public schools.

PHOTO: A teacher giving a class in a BRAC Non Formal Primary School, in the village of Hai Police, in Torid. Many children, who missed school due to decades of war and insecurity, are now attending BRAC schools in South Sudan.
Majority World/UIG/Getty Images
South Sudan

Students attend a school sponsored by BRAC, a Bangladeshi non-governmental organization aimed at alleviating poverty around the world, in 2008. Many of the children have missed school due to decades of war and insecurity in the region. The students sit on a tarp in the thatched-roof school, while their teacher stands at a chalkboard.

PHOTO: Pupils practice stilt walking during a sports lesson at a primary school in Beijing on January 10, 2011.
Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images
China

Pupils walk on stilts during a sports lesson at their school in Beijing in 2011. Students in Beijing have been given GPS-equipped mobile phones to combat problems of missing children and campus violence.

PHOTO: Children pump water at a school in Cambodia in 2010.
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Cambodia

Small boys pump water at their primary school in Cambodia in 2010.

PHOTO: A little girl writes on the blackboard 'C'est la rentrée' (Its the Start of the school year) at the school Jules Ferry in Bethune, northern, France, on August 28, 2012.
Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images
France

A little girl writes "It's the start of the school year" on a classroom chalkboard in Bethune in 2012 at the beginning of the school year.

PHOTO: An Indian school girl (3R) practises self-defence with an instructor during a self-defence class at a school in Mumbai on January 4, 2013.
Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images
India

A young girl practices self-defense with an instructor during a class at her school in Mumbai in 2013. Reports of gang-rape in New Delhi made girls and their parents nervous and schools began offering more self-defense instruction.

PHOTO: Afghan schoolchildren study in an open-air classroom on the outskirts of Mihtarlam in Laghman province on May 25, 2013.
Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images
Afghanistan

Schoolchildren study in an open-air school in Laghman province in 2013. The country's school system has been devastated for the past several decades by the Soviet invasion in the late 1970s, a civil war in the 1990s, and years of Taliban rule. The Taliban has used violent tactics to try to prevent girls and young women from pursuing an education.

PHOTO: Israeli schoolchildren gather in a bomb shelter at a school in Jerusalem after sirens sounded across Israel as part of a massive civil defence exercise aimed at preparing the country for attacks involving non-conventional weapons on June 2, 2009.
Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images
Israel

Children gather in a bomb shelter at their school in Jerusalem in 2009 after sirens signal a civil defense exercise aimed at preparing the country for air or missile attacks. The training is meant to prepare them for possible rocket strikes from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, and missile attacks from Syria and Iran.

PHOTO: School children are pictured at a rural school with a significant number of Colombian refugees at La Palizada in Tulcan, Carchi province, close to the Colombian border on November 7, 2012.
Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty Images
Ecuador

Young boys play in a schoolyard in rural Carchi province near the border with Colombia in 2012. Many Colombian refugee children attend schools in the area. Their families have fled violence along the border in their home country. Some have been assaulted and raped by paramilitary forces attempting to extort money from them. Guerrilla, narco and paramilitary gangs have fought over the state's cocaine trade and children have been caught in the middle.

PHOTO: Young Italian kids take their lunch break at an Elementary School in Rome, 04 December 2007.
Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images
Italy

Young students eat lunch at an elementary school in Rome in 2007. Rome has strict requirements when it comes to what foods are served in cafeterias. Meals have to be healthy and served in eco-friendly containers.

PHOTO: Ashaninka ethnic group children pose for a picture at the elementary school of the Gran Shinongari village in Pichari, Peru on June 14, 2012.
Hugo Ned/AFP/Getty Images
Peru

Ashaninka children take a break from studying at their school in a village in Pichari in 2012.

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