Luxembourg education system under OECD scrutiny

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(CS) The OECD's “Education at a Glance” report highlights Luxembourg's below average performance in secondary education, all the while showing that Luxembourg teachers earn the highest salaries.

Only 45 percent of upper secondary students finish their course of study within the regular time frame, landing the Grand Duchy in second-to-last place. The number is well below the OECD 70 percent average. While more students (74 percent) finish school in the regular time plus two additional years, this figure is still below the OECD average which lies above 80 percent.

In Luxembourg, some 79 percent of girls achieve their high school diploma, including the two additional years added to regular time of study, in comparison to just 70 percent of boys. The OECD averages for both are at 86 percent and 80 percent, respectively.

The statistics for vocational programmes are even worse with just 35 percent of students finishing their programme successfully after the regular period of study.

Long hours and high salaries

Meanwhile, students in the Grand Duchy aged 7 to 15 spend an average of 914 compulsory hours per year in the classroom. This is above the OECD average of 853.5 hours. Additionally, they are taught in some of the smallest classes, especially at primary school level, where classes average at around 15 students.

The study, which analysed data from the 2009/2010 school year also found that students spend between a fifth and a quarter of their school time learning languages, more than any other country in the report.

When it comes to teacher salaries, Luxembourg also tops the list. Secondary school teachers earn a yearly salary of over 100,000 USD, more than double the OECD average. Even other countries with traditionally high teacher salaries, such as Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands pay their teachers “only” around 60,000 USD per year.

For the full Education at a Glance report visit