Colombia’s elementary goes from 1-5 just like in the US, but from then on things change radically. In the US we have middle school or junior high, which consist of grades 6-7, Colombia, skips this all together and offers 6-11 as High School. The US high school education consists of years 4-12.
Required for graduation in the US are the core classes like Math, Science and English, but they are requirements on a credit basis, meaning that someone can do the bare minimum and graduate out of high school only knowing Algebra. On the other hand many school have college credit courses, so if the student really applies himself or herself they have an opportunity to save money and time during their college career. In Colombia, all courses that are offered by the school are required. There are no electives and all students follow the same curriculum. All students that obtain a High School diploma in Colombia have taken Calculus, Carbon Chemistry and Physics. All those courses are required for to obtain a diploma.