A school (from Greek σχολεῖον - scholeion) is an institution designed to allow and encourage students (or "pupils") to learn, under the supervision of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is commonly compulsory. In these systems, students often progress through a series of schools: primary school, secondary school, and possibly a university, vocational school or a college. There are also non-governmental schools, called private or independent schools. A school may be dedicated to a particular field, such as a school of economics or a school of dance. Alternative schools and democratic education may provide nontraditional methods and curriculum, or no curriculum, as it were. In homeschooling and online schools, teaching and learning take place outside of a traditional school building. The use of the term school varies by country, as do the names of the various levels of education within the country.
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