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What is Schools ?

A school is an institution where students learn while under the supervision of teachers. In most systems of formal education, students progress through a series of schools: primary school, secondary school, and possibly a university, vocational school or a college or a seminary. A school may also be dedicated to one particular field, such as a school of economics or a school of dance. In homeschooling and online schools, teaching and learning take place outside of a traditional school building. High school is a name used particularly in North America, to describe the last segment of secondary education and the institution in which the final stage of secondary education takes place.

The size and scope of schools varies depending on the resources and goals the communities provide for them. A school may be an outdoor meeting spot where one teacher comes to instruct a few students or a large campus consisting of hundreds of buildings and tens of thousands of students and educators.

Boarding schools, where students live full-time amongst their peers, will also include dormitories.Many boarding schools are single sex, single sex schools benefit girls much better than boys because girls are less intimidated and free to try new things.

A typical school building consists of many rooms each with a different purpose.

  • Classroom, place where teachers teach and students learn
  • Cafeteria, canteen or dining hall where students eat lunch.
  • Athletic field, playground, gym or track place where students participating in sports or physical education practice
  • Auditorium or hall where student theatrical or musical productions can be staged and where all-school events such as assemblies are held.
  • Office where the administrative work of the school is done.
  • Library where students consult and check out books.
  • Other specialist classrooms including laboratories for science education.
Schools have existed as far back as Greek times if not earlier. The Byzantines were the first to establish a schooling system at a primary level. According to Traditions and Encounters, the founding of the primary education system began in 425 A.D. and "… military personnel usually had at least a primary education …". Byzantium education system continued until its collapse in 1453 AD.

Islam was another culture to develop a schooling system in the modern sense of the word, largely brought about by conquests of Greek, Roman and Persian cultures, revealing a wealth of knowledge.A lot of emphasis was put on knowledge and therefore a systematic way of teaching and spreading knowledge was developed in purpose built structures. At first, mosques combined both religious performance and learning activities, but by the tenth century, however, the Seljuks introduced the first school, or Madrassa as it was called in Arabic, a proper school built independently from the mosque. They were also the first to make the school or Madrassa system a public domain under the control of the caliph. The Nizamiyya madrasa is considered by consensus of scholars to be the earliest surviving school, built towards 1066 CE by Emir Nizam Al-Mulk.

Under the Ottomans, learning was given a new dimension as towns of Bursa and Edirne took over as the main centres of learning respectively. The Ottoman system of Kulliye, a building complex containing a mosque, a hospital, madrassa, and public kitchen and dining areas, revolutionized the education system, making learning accessible to a wider public through its free meals, health care and sometimes free accommodation.

The nineteenth century historian, Scott holds that a remarkable correspondence exists between the procedure established by those institutions and the methods of the present day. They had their collegiate courses, their prizes for proficiency in scholarship, their oratorical and poetical contests, their commencements and their degrees. In the department of medicine, a severe and prolonged examination, conducted by the most eminent physicians of the capital, was exacted of all candidates desirous of practicing their profession, and such as were unable to stand the test were formally pronounced incompetent.

The law student was interested in an authorization, called ijaza; covering a field of knowledge, that of law, as well as in a license to teach it and issue legal opinions, called ijazat al-tadris wa 'l-fatwa, which he obtained from one master-juris consult.

The word Baccalaurea in French or International Baccalaureate in English was derived from Arabic Bihaqqi Al-Riwayah, the first known written warrant to be given from a teacher to his student.

However, education in Islamic culture was conservative; consequently, fewer militay technologies were adopted or invented by the Ottomans and after the 17th century, the Ottoman empire grew increasingly weak as a modernized Europe, pushed by the renaissance advanced in the sciences, leading to great advances in chemistry in Russia by Dimitri Mendeleev and the implementation of Electricity by Michael Faraday and Nikola Tesla.

In Europe during the Middle Ages and much of the Early Modern period, the main purpose of schools (as opposed to universities) was to teach the Latin language. This led to the term grammar school which in the United States is used informally to refer to a primary school but in the United Kingdom means a school that selects entrants on their ability or aptitude. Following this, the school curriculum has gradually broadened to include literacy in the vernacular language as well as technical, artistic, scientific and practical subjects.

The one-room schoolhouse is an icon of 19th century rural life in the United States.

Many secondary and college level schools have different classes for each course. These may be called a class period. A period may vary in time, but is usually 60 minutes long.


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