Secondary education covers two phases on the ISCED scale. Level 2 or junior secondary education is considered the second and final phase of basic education, and level 3 (Upper) secondary education is the stage before tertiary education. Every country aims to provide basic education, but the systems and terminology remain unique to them. Secondary education typically takes place after six years of primary education and is followed by higher education, vocational training or employment. In most countries it is compulsory for students between the ages 11 and 16. Compulsory education sometimes extends to age 19.
- Renaissance and reformation
- Universal Education
- Right to a secondary education
- Future directions for secondary education
- By country
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Palestinian territories
- United Kingdom
- England Wales and Northern Ireland
- United States
- Names for secondary education by country
Since 1989 education has been seen as a basic human right for a child, article 28, of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that: primary education should be free and compulsory while different forms of secondary education, including general and vocational education, should be available and accessible to every child. The terminology has proved difficult- and there was no universal definition before ISCED, divided the period between primary education and university into junior secondary education and (upper) secondary education.
In classical and mediaeval times secondary education was provided by the church for the sons of nobility and to boys preparing for universities and the priesthood. As trade required navigational and scientific skills the church reluctantly expanded the curriculum and widened the intake. With Comenius and Joseph Locke- education changed from being repetition of Latin text, to building up knowledge in the child- and with the Reformation the state wrestled the control of learning from the church. Education was for the few. As late as 1868, secondary schools were organised to satisfy the needs of different social classes with the labouring classes getting 4yrs, the merchant class 5yrs and the elite getting 7 years. Only then did it become accepted that girls could be sent to school. The rights to a secondary education were codified after 1945, and countries are still working to achieve the goal of mandatory and free secondary education for all youngsters under 19.
Secondary education is in most countries the phase in the education continuum responsible for the development of the young during their adolescence, the most rapid phase of their physical, mental and emotional growth. It is at this very education level, particularly in its first cycle, where values and attitudes formed at primary school are more firmly ingrained alongside the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
From UNESCO Towards a Convergence of Knowledge Acquisition and Skills Development
The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) (1997) describes seven levels that can be used to compare education internationally. Within a country these can be implemented in different ways, with different age levels and local denominations.
Within this system, national governments can call levels 2, 3 and 4, levels 2 and 3 or just level 2, secondary education. Level 1 and Level 2, that is primary education and lower secondary together form basic education. These definition were put together for statistical purposes, and to allow the gathering of comparative data nationally and internationally and approved by the UNESCO General Conference at its 29th session in November 1997. Though they may be dated they do provide a universal set of definitions, and remain unchanged in the 2011 update.
The start of Lower secondary education is characterised by the transition from the single class-teacher delivering all the content to a cohort of pupils, to one where content is delivered by a series of subject specialist. The educational aim is to complete provision of basic education, completing the delivery of basic skills and to lay the foundations for lifelong learning.
Lower secondary education is likely to show these criteria-
The end of lower secondary education often coincides with the end of compulsory education in countries where that exists.
(Upper) secondary education starts on the completion of basic education, which also is defined as completion of lower secondary education and its completion will provide the entry requirements to level 5 tertiary education, the entry requirements to technical or vocational training (Level 5- non tertiary course, or direct entry into the workplace. More subjects may be dropped, and increased specialism occurs. The educational focus is varied according to future direction of the student, and their interests. Education at this level is usually voluntary (Upper) secondary education is likely to show these criteria-
In 2012 the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) published a further work on education levels where it codified particular paths and redefined the tertiary levels. Lower secondary education and (Upper) secondary education could last between 2 and 5 years, and the transition between two often would be when students were allowed some subject choice.
A form of education for adolescents became necessary in all societies that had an alphabet and engaged in commerce. In Western Europe, formal secondary education can be traced back to the Athenian educational reforms of 320BC. Though their civilisation was eclipsed and they were enslaved, Hellenistic Athenian teachers were valued in the Roman system. The Roman and Hellenistic schools of rhetoric taught the seven liberal arts and sciences - grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy - which were regarded as a preparation for the study at a tertiary level of theology, law and medicine. Boys would have been prepared to enter these schools by private tutors at home. Girls would have only received tuition at home. When the Romans retreated, all traces of civilisation were erased.
England provides a good case study. When St Augustine brought Christianity there in 597, no schools existed. He needed trained priests to conduct church services and boys to sing in the choir. He had to create both the grammar schools that taught Latin, to enable the English to study for the priesthood, and song schools (choir schools) that trained the 'sons of gentlefolk' to sing in cathedral choirs. In the case of Canterbury (597) and Rochester(604), both still exist. Bede in his Ecclesiastical history (732) tells that the Canterbury school taught more than the 'intended reading and understanding of Latin', but 'the rules of metric, astronomy and the computus as well as the works of the saints' Even at this stage,there was tension, as the church was worried that knowledge of Latin would give the student access to non-Christian texts that it would not wish them to read.
Over the centuries leading to the renaissance and reformation the church was the main provider of secondary education. Various invasions and schisms within the controlling church challenged the focus of the schools, and the curriculum and language of instruction waxed and waned. From 1100, With the growth of the towns, grammar schools 'free' of the church were founded, and some church grammar schools were handed over to the laïty. Universities were founded that didn't just train students for the priesthood.
Renaissance and reformation
Whereas in mainland Europe the renaissance preceded the reformation, local conditions in England caused the reformation to come first. The reformation was about allowing the laïty to interpret the Bible in their own way without the intervention of priests, and prefereably in the vernacular. This stimulated the foundation of free Grammar schools- who searched for a less constrained curriculum. Colonialisation required navigation, mensuration, languages and administrative skills. The laïty wanted these taught to their sons. After Gutenberg1455 had mastered moveable metal type printing and Tyndale had translated the Bible into English (1525), Latin became a skill reserved for the catholic church and sons conservative nobility. Schools started to be set up for the sons of merchants in Europe and the colonies too- for example Boston Latin Grammar School (1635).
Comenius(1592-1670), a Moravian protestant proposed a new model of education- where ideas were developed from the familiar to the theoretical rather than through repetition, where languages were taught in the vernacular and supported universal education. In his Didactica Magna (Great Didactic), he outlined a system of schools that is the exact counterpart of many western school systems: kindergarten, elementary school, secondary school, six-form college, university. Locke's Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693) stressed the importance of a broader intellectual training, moral development and physical hardening. .
The grammar schools of the period can be categorised in three groups: the nine leading schools, seven of them boarding institutions which maintained the traditional curriculum of the classics, and mostly served 'the aristocracy and the squirearchy' ; most of the old endowed grammar schools serving a broad social base in their immediate localities which also stuck to the old curriculum; the grammar schools situated in the larger cities, serving the families of merchants and tradesmen who embraced change.
During the 18th century their social base widened and their curriculum developed, particularly in mathematics and the natural sciences. But this was not universal education and was self selecting by wealth The industrial revolution changed that. Industry required an educated workforce where all workers needed to have completed a basic education. In France, Louis XIV, wrestled the control of education from the Jesuits, Condorcet set up Collèges for universal lower secondary education throughout the country, then Napoleon set up a regulated system of Lycee. In England, Robert Peel's Factory Act of 1802 required an employer to provide instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic during at least the first four years of the seven years of apprenticeship. The state had accepted responsibility for the basic education of the poor. The provision of school places remained inadequate, so an Order in Council dated 10 April 1839 created the Committee of the Privy Council on Education.
There was considerable opposition to the idea that children of all classes should receive basic education, all the initiatives such as industrial schools and Sunday schools were initially a private or church initiative. With the Great Exhibition of 1851, it became clear just how far behind the English education system had fallen.
Three reports were commissioned to examine the education of upper, middle and labouring class children. The Clarendon Commission sought to improve the 9 'Great Public Schools. The Taunton Commission looked at the 782 endowed grammar schools (private and public) they found varying quality and a patchy geographical coverage with two-thirds of all towns not having any secondary school, and only thirteen girls' secondary schools in total. There was no clear conception of the purpose of secondary education. In the thirteen girls schools tuition was superficial, unorganised and unscientific. They recommended a system of first-grade, second-grade targeted at the a leaving age of 18 as preparation for upper and upper-middle class boys entering university, targeted at a leaving age of 16 for boys preparing for the army or the newer professions and third-grade schools targeted at a leaving age of 14 for boys of small tenant farmers, small tradesmen, and superior artisans'. This resulted in the 1869 Endowed Schools Act which advocated that girls should enjoy the same education as boys.
The Newcastle Commission inquired "into the state of public education in England and to consider and report what measures, if any, are required for the extension of sound and cheap elementary instruction to all classes of the people". It produced 1861 Newcastle Report and this led to the 1870 Elementary Education Act (Forster Act).
The school boards set up by the 1870 Elementary Education Act (Forster Act) and were stopped from providing secondary education by the Cockerton Judgement of 1899. The school leaving age at this time was 10. The Judgement prompted the 1902 Education Act (Balfour Act). Compulsory education was extended to 12. The new Local Education Authorities (LEA)s that were formed from the school boards; started to open Higher Grade Elementary Schools (ISCED Level2) or county schools to supplement the endowed grammar schools. These LEAs were allowed to build second-grade secondary schools that in the main became the future secondary modern schools.
In the "1904 Regulations for Secondary Schools", the Board of Education determined that secondary schools should offer a:
a four year subject-based course leading to a certificate in English language and literature, geography, history, a foreign language, mathematics, science, drawing, manual work, physical training, and, for girls, housewifery.
The Education Act 1918 (Fisher Act) extended compulsory full time education to 14, and recommended compulsory part time education from 14-18. The Hadlow report, "Education the Adolescent" (1926) proposed that there should be a break point at eleven, establishing primary schools and secondary schools.
The United Nations, founded in 1947, was committed to education for all but the definition was difficult to formulate. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) declared that elementary and fundamental education, which it didn't define, was a right to be enjoyed by all. The Education Act 1944 (Butler Act) made sweeping changes to the funding of state education using the tripartite system, but wasn't allowed to tackle private schools. It introduced the GCE 'O'level at 16, and the 'A' at 18, but only raised the school leaving age until 15, making the exam inaccessible to the majority. But one year of ISCED Level 3 (Upper) secondary education was mandatory and free.
In 1972 the school leaving was raised to 16. The Education and Skills Act 2008, when it came into force in the 2013 academic year, initially required participation in some form of education or training until the school year in which the child turned 17, followed by the age being raised to the young person's 18th birthday in 2015. This was referred to as raising the "participation age" to distinguish it from the school leaving age which remains at 16. Thus the UK is following the ISCED Level 3 (Upper) secondary education guideline.
Secondary schools may be called high schools, academies, gymnasiums, lyceums, middle schools, upper schools, colleges, sixth-form colleges, vocational schools, or preparatory schools, and the exact meaning of any of these varies among the countries.
Right to a secondary education
The United Nations was strong in its commitment to education for all but fell into linguistic difficultly defining that right.
“Article I: Purposes and functions 1. The purpose of the Organization is to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.”
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) declared that elementary and fundamental education was a right to be enjoyed by all, but again could not define either elementary and fundamental education.
Article 26 :(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
It was assumed that elementary education was basic education, the entitlement for children- and fundamental education was a right for the working man, but for a lawyer the definition is neither qualitative( stating what education means) or quantative saying when it starts and when it is completed. The term secondary is not defined or mentioned. Together this has enabled countries to terminate free, compulsory, basic education at 11 or only continue education past eleven to boys.
Article 28, of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) stated that primary education should be free and compulsory while different forms of secondary education, including general and vocational education,should be available and accessible to every child. Free education should be provided and financial assistance offered in case of need. In 1990, at Jomtien again tried to define the content basic education and how it should be delivered. ‘Basic education’ is defined as ‘action designed to meet ‘basic learning needs’. ‘primary schooling’ is considered as ‘the main delivery system of basic education’. Which is explained in Principals for Action that:
addressing the basic learning needs of all means: early childhood care and development opportunities; relevant, quality primary schooling or equivalent out-of-school education for children; and literacy, basic knowledge and life skills training for youth and adults.’
The assumption being made that basic knowledge and life skills training for youth was the function of secondary education. This was codified by the ISCED documents. The Dakar Framework for Action 2010 goal 2 states: Ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and complete free and compulsory (primary in the sense basic) education of good quality. The Dakar Framework for Action 2010 goal 5 states: Eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieving gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality.
“My goal is to make sure every child, girl and boy, they get the opportunity to go to school." “It is their basic human right, so I will be working on that and I will never stop until I see the last child going to school.”
Future directions for secondary education
UNESCO believes that in order to prepare young people for life and work in a rapidly changing world, secondary-level education systems need to be re-oriented to impart a broad repertoire of life-skills. These skills should include the key generic competencies, non occupation-specific practical capabilities, ICT, the ability to learn independently, to work in teams, entrepreneurship and civic responsibility.
They may be best instilled through a shared foundational learning period and by deferring the directing of students into academic and vocational streams for as long as possible, and then there should be flexibility to ensure the free movement of students between the streams depending on their aptitudes and inclinations. Accreditation in one stream should have equal recognition in the other as well as for access to higher education. This will equip young people with multiple skills so that they are prepared to enter and re-enter the workforce several times in their working lives, as wage employees or self-employed entrepreneurs, and to re-train themselves when their skills become obsolete.
It recognizes that there is no single model that will suit all countries, or even all communities in a given country. Secondary-level education policy should be under continuous review to keep in step with scientific and technological, economic and societal change.
Each country has developed the form of education most appropriate for them. There is an attempt to compare the effectiveness by using the results from the PISA that, each third year, assesses the scholastic performance on mathematics, science, and reading of a representative sample of 5000 fifteen year olds from each country.
The school system is free and mandatory.
School is compulsory in Australia from the ages of five/six to fifteen/sixteen/seventeen, depending on the state, with, in recent years, over three-quarters of people staying on until their thirteenth year in school. Government schools educate about two-thirds of Australian students, with the other third in independent schools. Government schools are free although most schools charge what are known as "voluntary contributions" or "tax levies", while independent schools, both religious and secular, charge fees as well as levies. Regardless of what whether a school is government or independent, it is required to adhere to the same curriculum frameworks. Most school students, whether in government or independent school, usually wear uniforms, although there are varying expectations and a few school exceptions.
For more details see Education in Belgium - Secondary education.
Belgium has a three-tier education system, with each stage divided into various levels:
In Brazil, since 1996 high school is officially called Ensino Médio (formerly Segundo Grau). As a result, the course was changed after and called colegial, also divided, with the first three years were the same for everyone and anyone who would subsequently make the old normal and clássico, had to do another year.
Historically, in Brazil, is called secondary what is now the second part of primary school (from the sixth year to the ninth year), plus high school. It is the last phase to basic education. Brazilian high school lasts three years, attempting to deepen what students have learned in the Ensino Fundamental. Brazilian high school students are referenced by their year – 1st, 2nd and 3rd years.
Unlike other countries, Brazilian students don't have a final test to conclude studies. Their approval depends only on their final grade on each subject. Each university elaborates its own test to select new students – this test, the vestibular, generally happens once a year. Enem, a non-mandatory national exam, evaluates high school students in Brazil and is used to rank both private and public schools. Schedules vary from school to school. The subjects taught, however, are conceived by the Ministério da Educação (Ministry of Education) which emphasises the hard sciences.
The educational year begins in February and finishes in December, often having July as a break; institutions are permitted to define their own actual start and end dates. They must, however, provide at least 200 days of classes per year.
Universities are also divided into public and private. At this level, public ones are considered excellent and their vestibular exam is highly competitive (the exam for med school in UNICAMP may hit 300 candidates per place). For better preparation, therefore, many students take a curso pré-vestibular (university preparation course), which is offered by large private high schools.
Secondary education in Colombia is divided into two; basic secondary that goes from years 6 to 9, and mid secondary that are grades 10 and 11. In Colombia, education has always been mandatory but it wasn't until 2012 that all education for kids and teens was made free of charge at any public institution.
Secondary education is currently optional, although most political parties now advocate the stance that it should also become compulsory.
Secondary schools in Croatia are subdivided into:
Gymnasiums, schools of economics and schools of engineering take four years. There are also some vocational schools that last only three years.
Secondary schools supply students with primary subjects needed for the necessary work environment in Croatia. People who completed secondary school are classified as "medium expertise" (srednja stručna sprema or SSS).
There are currently around 90 gymnasiums and some 300 vocational schools in Croatia. The public secondary schools are under the jurisdiction of regional government, the counties.
Cyprus has a three-tier educational system, each stage being divided into specific levels:
Due to historic reasons, the Czech school system is almost the same as the German school system. The school system is free and mandatory until age 15. After the Základní škola (elementary school) at age 15, students are directed to three different optional secondary education schools:
The maturita is required for study in university. The Abitur from gymnasium is better for a humanistic pointed university and SOŠ Abitur is better for a technical pointed university.
In Denmark it is mandatory to receive education answering to the basic school syllabus until the 10th year of school education, which likewise extends to compulsory pre-schooling since 2009. Pupils can choose an 11th year of school. After the basic school the majority of pupils between ages 15–19 usually choose to go through the three-year "Gymnasium", which is university-preparatory or high school. Adolescents not attending the Gymnasium most commonly attend vocational training. There are over 100 different vocational courses in Denmark.
The secondary school, known as Thanawya Amma (ثانوية عامة), is a three-year program after which the student, according to his score in the final year, can join a higher level of education in a university or, when the score is lower, an institution of education that issues a degree not equal with the university one.
The Finnish education system is a comparatively egalitarian Nordic system. This means for example no tuition fees for full-time students, and free meals are served to pupils.
The second level education is not compulsory, but an overwhelming majority attends. There is a choice between upper secondary school (lukio, gymnasium) and vocational school (ammatillinen oppilaitos, yrkesinstitut). Graduates of both upper secondary school and vocational school can apply to study in further education (university and polytechnics).
Upper secondary school, unlike vocational school, concludes with a nationally graded final examination (ylioppilastutkinto, studentexamen). Passing the test is a de facto prerequisite for further education. The system is designed so that approximately the lowest scoring 5% fails and also 5% get the best grade. The exam allows for a limited degree of specialization in either natural sciences or social sciences. The graduation is an important and formal family event, like christenings, weddings, and funerals.
In the OECD's international assessment of student performance, PISA, Finland has consistently been among the highest scorers worldwide; in 2003, Finnish 15-year-olds came first in reading literacy, science, and mathematics; and second in problem solving, worldwide. The World Economic Forum ranks Finland's tertiary education #1 in the world."The Global Competitiveness Report 2006–2007: Country Highlights". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2007-01-22.
The German school system is free and attendance is compulsory for all children until 9th grade. After the Grundschule (primary/elementary school lasting four, in some states six years), teachers recommend each student for one of three different types of secondary school. Whether this recommendation is binding or can be overruled by parents depends on the state.
The Gesamtschule is a comprehensive school which unifies at least two of the three types of secondary schools and confers the same school leaving certificates. The German dual education system, which combines apprenticeships with attendance of a vocational school (Berufsschule), is open to graduates of all three types of schools. However, it is the most common for graduates with Hauptschulabschluss or Mittlere Reife.
Students with special needs (severe physical or mental disabilities) are assigned to Förderschule.
Hong Kongsecondary school (中學, Cantonese: jung1 hok6), college (書院)
Secondary education in Hong Kong is largely based on the British education model. After six years in Primary school, the Secondary school starts in the seventh year. Students normally spent five years in secondary schools, of which the first three years (Forms One to Three) were compulsory. In the past, Forms Four and Five students prepared for the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE). Students obtaining a satisfactory grade progressed to a two year Sixth Form, where they prepared for the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE) (colloquially the A-levels). The HKCEE is equivalent to the British GCSE and HKALE is equivalent to the British A-level.
The 334 Scheme was introduced in 2009 with first exams in 2012. It abolished the HKCEE and changed the two courses into a single three year course with a single terminal exam Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE), taken after Year 6. Students take 4 core subjects and two electives. This is followed by a 4 year university course.
India operates a 10+2+3 system of education. The ten being divided into 4 year primary and 6 years secondary. 24% of secondary education is in private schools which like state schools are regulated by school boards. There are 1.5 million schools in India.
Constitutionally, the Ninety-third Amendment Bill, 2002, renumbered as the Constitution (86th Amendment) Act, 2002, passed on 12 December 2002. Art.21A. declares "The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine."
There are Four important Indian school boards:
Indonesia follows the historical Dutch education system, where the secondary education consists of junior high school (Sekolah Menengah Pertama or SMP) which is compulsory and senior high school (Sekolah Menengah Atas or SMA) which is optional; each takes three years. Usually a student enters SMP at age 12 and starts SMA at age 15. In the second year of SMA, students opt for: Natural Science, Social Science or Literature. At the end of the third year of SMA (grade 12), students sit the National Examination (formerly EBTANAS). They then enter college or the labour market.
Since 2005 there has been an effort to make senior high school education compulsory; for example in the Bantul Regency of Yogyakarta.
In Ireland secondary school starts at the age of 12, and lasts three or optionally five or six years. The main types of secondary school are: community schools, comprehensive schools, colleges (though this term is more usually applied to third-level institutions like universities), vocational schools, voluntary secondary schools and meánscoileanna (secondary schools that teach all subjects through Irish). After three years (age 14-16), every student takes a compulsory state exam known as the Junior Certificate. Typically a student will sit exams in 9 to 11 subjects; English (L1), Irish (L2) and Mathematics are compulsory.
After completing the Junior Certificate, a student may continue for two years to take a second state exam, the Leaving Certificate, around age 17-18. Students typically take 6-8 subjects. Except in exceptional circumstances, subjects taken must include Irish (L1), English (L2) and Mathematics. Leaving Certificate results directly determine admission to university via a ranking system managed by the CAO. More than 80% of students who complete the Junior Certificate continue to the Leaving Certificate.
There is an optional year in many secondary schools in Ireland known as Transition Year, which some students choose to take after completing the Junior Certificate, and before starting the Leaving Certificate. Focusing on broadening horizons, the year is often structured around student projects such as producing a magazine, charity work, or running a small business. Regular classes may be mixed with classes on music, drama, public speaking, etc. Transition year is not formally examined but student progress is monitored by teachers on a continuous basis. Programs vary from school to school. This year also focuses on giving the children an insight into the working world through work experience placements.
In addition to the main school system, Ireland has a parallel system of vocational schools, which place less focus on academic subjects and more on vocational and technical skills - around 25% of students attend these. Many vocational schools also offer night classes to adults. There is also a prominent movement known as Gaelscoileanna where every subject is taught through the Irish language, and these are growing fast in number.
Secondary school (Scuola secondaria) starts at age 11, after 5 years of primary school, and lasts 8 years. Secondary school is divided into 3 + 5 years, according to the following scheme:
All kinds of second-grade secondary schools end with an examination (Esame di Stato, "state exam", but usually still called by its traditional name Esame di Maturità, "maturity exam") whose contents are defined nationwide and score is on a 100-point scale.
High school in Republic of Macedonia is called средно училиште and its structure is left from the socialist period. Reforms are being instituted with the goal of bringing the education system in line with the global community. In general, there is high school for preparing for every faculty on the university. There are: electro technical high school, mechanical high school, economics high school, pharmaceutical, medical, and natural sciences and linguistics gymnasium. The high school is attended between the years of 14 and 18 and is compulsory.
The national secondary education in Malaysia, modelled after the (historical) English system, consists of five school years referred to as "forms" (tingkatan in Malay). Students begin attending secondary schools in the year they turn 13, after sitting for the UPSR (Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah or Primary School Assessment Examination) at the end of primary school. Students failing the academic requirement in UPSR are required to read an additional year called the Remove (Peralihan) year before they are allowed to proceed to Form 1. Automatic promotion up to Form 5 has been in place since 1996. Some secondary schools offer an additional two years known as "sixth form", divided into "lower sixth" and "upper sixth".
Forms 1 to 3 are known as Lower Secondary (Menengah Rendah), while Forms 4 and 5 are known as Upper Secondary (Menengah Tinggi). Streaming into Art, Science or Commerce streams is done at the beginning of the Upper Secondary stage. Students sit for a standardised test at the end of both stages; Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) for Lower Secondary, and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM, equivalent to the O-Level examination) for Upper Secondary. At the end of the sixth form, students sit for the Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia or the Malaysian Higher School Certificate (equivalent to the A levels). The language of instruction in national secondary schools is Malay except for language, science and mathematics subjects. Science and mathematics subjects are taught in English since 2003, but Malay will be reintroduced in stages from 2012.
Lower-secondary education (three years) is considered part of basic education in Mexico and is compulsory. For entry, students are required to have successfully completed six years of primary education. The next stage (three years), upper-secondary education or preparation school (preparatoria), has been compulsory since 2012. It has three pathways: general upper-secondary, technical professional education, and technological upper-secondary. As it has been called bachillerato it has been frequently confused with the US' "bachelor's level", which is called "Licenciatura o Ingeniería" in Latin American countries (though not all, as in Venezuela, the US' bachelor's level is referred to as "doctor").
Nepal ranks 11th in quality education in the world.
Tribhuwan International University is a world-known institution.
Secondary education Nepal was 7even years in duration as of 2012. Its highest value over the past 42 years was seven years in 2012, while its lowest value was five years in 1970.
In the Netherlands, high school is called middelbare school (literally "middle-level school") and starts right after the 6th grade of primary school (group 8). Pupils who start at a high school are around age 12. Because education in the Netherlands is compulsory between the ages of 4 and 16 (and partially compulsory between the ages of 16 and 18), all pupils must attend high school.
The high schools are part of the voortgezet onderwijs (literally: "continued education"). The voortgezet onderwijs consists of three main streams: VMBO, which has 4 grades and is subdivided over several levels; HAVO, which has 5 grades, and VWO, which has six grades. The choice for a particular stream is made based on the scores of an aptitude test (most commonly the CITO test), the advice of the grade 6 teacher, and the opinion of the pupil's parents or caretakers. It is possible to switch between streams. After completing a particular stream, a pupil can continue in the penultimate year of the next stream, from VMBO to HAVO, and from HAVO to VWO.
Successfully completing a particular stream grants access to different levels of tertiary education. After VMBO, a pupil can continue training at the MBO ("middle-level applied education"). A HAVO diploma allows for admission to the HBO ("higher professional education"), which are universities of professional education. Only with a VWO graduation can a pupil enter a research university.
In New Zealand students attend secondary school from the ages from about 13 to 18 (though it is possible to be 12). Formerly known as Forms 3 to 7, these grades are now known as Years 9 to 13. Schooling is compulsory until the student's 16th birthday. Historically secondary schools are named as either a high school or a college with no differentiation between the two types. NCEA is the Government-supported school qualification. New Zealand also has intermediate schools, but these cover the last two years of primary education (years 7 and 8) and are not secondary schools.
High school (Norwegian Bokmål: "Videregående Skole," Norwegian Nynorsk: "Vidaregåande Skule," or English: "Continuational School") in Norway is education and training that lead to general university admissions certification or vocational competence. Nearly all Norwegian students enter high school the year they become 16, and it is their 11th year of education.
Education in Palestine refers to the educational system in Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Enrollment rates amongst Palestinians are relatively high by regional and global standards. According to a youth survey in 2003, 60 percent between the ages 10–24 indicated that education was their first priority. Youth literacy rate is 98.2 percent, while the national literacy rate is 91.2 percent
Secondary education in Pakistan begins from grade 9 and lasts for four years. Upon completion of grade 10, students are expected to take a standardised test administered by a regional Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE). Upon successful completion of this examination, they are awarded a Secondary School Certificate (SSC). This is locally called the "matriculation certificate" or "matric". Students then enter a college and complete grades 11 and 12. Upon completion of grade 12, they again take a standardised test which is also administered by the regional boards. Upon successful completion of this test, students are awarded the Higher Secondary (School) Certificate (HSC). This level of education is also called the F.Sc./F.A/ICS or "intermediate". There are many streams students can choose for their 11 and 12 grades, such as pre-medical, pre-engineering, humanities (or social sciences), computer science and commerce. Some technical streams have recently been introduced for grades 11 and 12.
Alternative qualifications in Pakistan are also available but not maintained by the BISE but by other examination boards. Most common alternative is the General Certificate of Education (GCE), where SSC and HSC are replaced by Ordinary Level (O Level) and Advanced Level (A Level) respectively. Other qualifications include IGCSE which replaces SSC. GCE O Level, IGCSE and GCE AS/A Levels are managed by British examination boards of CIE of the Cambridge Assessment and Edexcel of the Pearson PLC. Advanced Placement (AP) is an alternative option but much less common than GCE or IGCSE. This replaces the secondary school education as "high school education" instead. AP exams are monitored by a North American examination board, the College Board, and can only be given under supervision of centers which are registered with the College Board, unlike GCE O/AS/A Level and IGCSE which can also be given privately.
In Paraguay, secondary education is called educación media. After nine years of educación escolar básica (primary school), a student can choose to go to either a bachillerato técnico (vocational school) or a bachillerato científico (high school); both are part of the educación media system. These two forms of secondary education last three years, and are usually located in the same campus called colegio.
The bachillerato técnico combines general education with some specific subjects, referred to as pre-vocational education and career orientation. Fields include mechanical, electricity, commerce, construction, and business administration.
After completing secondary education, a student can enter university. It is also possible for a student to choose both técnico and científico schooling.
See High School in Portugal
There were around 60,000 general education schools in the 2007–2008 school year; this includes ca. 5,000 advanced learning schools specializing in foreign languages, mathematics etc., and 2,300 advanced general-purpose schools. Those identified as Russian: Гимназии и лицеи, gymnasiums and lycaeums, and 1,800 schools for all categories of disabled children; it does not include vocational technical schools and technicums. Private schools accounted for 0.3% of elementary school enrolment in 2005 and 0.5% in 2005.
According to a 2005 UNESCO report, 96% of the adult population has completed lower secondary schooling and most of them also have an upper secondary education.
Children attend primary school for the first 6 levels, then secondary schools for the next 4/5 levels. This is followed by either junior college for two-year courses or centralised institutes for three-year courses.
Based on results of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), Singapore's students undergo secondary education in either the Special (abolished in 2008), Express, Normal streams or the Integrated Programme (implemented in 2004). Both the Special and Express are four-year courses leading up to a Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education (GCE) "Ordinary" or "O level" examination. The difference between Special and Express is that the former takes higher mother tongue, which can be used as a first language in exams instead of the subject "mother tongue" that Express students take. However, if some Express students can cope with higher mother tongue, they are allowed to use it as a first language in exams too.
The Normal stream is a four-year course leading up to a Singapore-Cambridge GCE "Normal" - "N" level examination, with the possibility of a 5th year followed by a Singapore-Cambridge GCE "Ordinary" - "O" level examination. It is split into "Normal (Academic)" and "Normal (Technical)" where in the latter students take subjects that are technical in nature, such as design and technology.
The Integrated Programme (IP) is a six-year programme offered to the top 10 percent of the cohort to pass through the O level exams, and go straight to the affiliated JC.
After the second year of a secondary school course, students are typically streamed into a wide range of course combinations, making the total number of subject they have to sit for in "O" level six to ten subjects. This includes science (Physics, Biology and Chemistry), humanities (Elective Geography/History, Pure Geography/History, Social Studies, Literature) and additional mathematics subject at a higher level, or "combined" subject modules.
Some schools have done away with the O level examination, and pupils only sit for the A level examination or the International Baccalaureate at the end of their sixth year (known as Year 6 or Junior College 2).
Co-curricular activities have become compulsory at the secondary level, where all pupils must participate in at least one core CCA, and participation is graded together with other things like leadership throughout the four years of secondary education, in a scoring system. Competitions are organised so that students can have an objective towards which to work, and in the case of musical groups, showcase talents.
In Slovenia, a variety of high-school institutions for secondary education exists one can choose in accordance with his or her interests, abilities and beliefs. The majority of them are public and government-funded, although there are some diocesan upper secondary schools and a Waldorf upper secondary school, which are private and require tuition to be paid.
Upper secondary schools (gimnazije): general upper secondary schools, classical upper secondary schools, technical upper secondary schools, upper secondary schools for arts, and upper secondary schools for business are offer challenging programmes for students aiming for university. The courses last for four years and conclude with a compulsory leaving examination (matura).
Technical high schools last for four years and cover a wide range of disciplines. The vocational leaving examination allows pupils to study at vocational or professional colleges.
Vocational high schools come in two varieties: the dual and in school-based programme. For the former, the apprenticeship is provided by employers, while the practical training for the latter is offered in school. Both of them complete with a final examination. Students may continue their education in the two-year vocational-technical programme (colloquially known as 3+2 programme), which prepares them for vocational leaving exam if they want to pursue higher education.
The leaving exam course is a one-year programme, intended for vocational leaving exam graduates. After completing leaving exam course, they take the leaving examination, which makes the eligible for university education.
The vocational course is a one-year programme provided to upper secondary school students who, for various reasons, do not want to continue their education. It concludes with a final examinations, qualifying the applicants for a selected occupation.
Secondary education in Spain is called educación secundaria obligatoria ("compulsory secondary education"), usually known as ESO, and lasts for four years (age 12 to 16). As its name indicates, every Spanish citizen must, by law, attend secondary education when they arrive at the defined age. The state is also committed to guaranteeing every student the possibility of attending it, and also at a state-run school (hence no tuition fees) if so demanded.
Gymnasium school usually starts at 16, and is not mandatory. However, since the 1970s most students attend it.
Secondary education includes all of the general, vocational and technical education institutions that provide at least four years of education after primary school. The entry procedures frequently change. Secondary education aims to give students a good level of common knowledge, and to prepare them for higher education, for a vocation, for life and for business in line with their interests, skills and abilities. In the academic year 2001-2002 2.3 million students were enrolled and 134,800 teachers were employed in 6,000 education institutions. Schools are called lyceum (lise).
In the United Kingdom secondary schools offer secondary education covering the later years of schooling. The table below lists the equivalent secondary school year systems used in the United Kingdom:
Private schools in England and Wales generally still refer to years 7-11 as 1st-5th Form, or archaically refer to Year 7 as the IIIrds (Thirds), Y8 as the LIV (Lower Four), Y9 as the UIV (Upper Four), Y10 as the LV (Lower Fifth), Y11 as the UV (Upper Fifth).
England, Wales and Northern Ireland
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, students usually transfer from primary school straight to secondary school at age 11.
Education is compulsory and free up until the end of year 13 (the last Friday in June in the academic year a person turns 18). Parents can choose to pay to have their children educated in a private school. Elite private schools are known as 'public schools'. The five years of compulsory secondary schooling from ages 11 to 16 were known as "first year" through to "fifth year," but in September 1990 when the National Curriculum, these years were renamed Year 7 to Year 11, Year 8 to Year 12 (NI). The terminal exams are the GCSE's. For statistical purposes students are must pass 5 GCSE's including Maths and English.
After Year 11 a student must opt to remain at school, transfer to a college, or to start an apprenticeship. These years are known as the Sixth Form ("Lower Sixth" and "Upper Sixth"). Academic students specialise in three to five subjects for their A Levels, others undertake more vocational courses such as a BTEC or other such qualification, which count as a double 'A'level for statistical purposes.
In Scotland, students transfer from primary to secondary education at 12. The first and second years of secondary school (abbreviated to S1 and S2) continues the "Curriculum for Excellence" started in primary school. At age 14, students choose which subjects they wish to study with certain compulsory subjects such as English and Mathematics for S3 and S4. These are called Standard Grades, but some schools use Intermediates which take two years to complete with an exam at the end of S4. At age 16, students can leave for employment or attend further education colleges, but most continue study to study five one-year Highers. At age 17 students decide to apply for a four year Scottish university course or stay on for 6th year, other Highers and Advanced Highers are offered. Instruction is normally in English, though Gaelic medium education is also available.
As part of education in the United States, the definition of secondary education varies among school districts but generally comprises grades 7, 8, and 9 through 12; grade 5 and grade 6 are also sometimes included. Grades 9 through 12 is the most common grade structure for high school.
Secondary education in Vietnam is optional under the law and not free, however most children choose to receive secondary education. It is divided into two levels, secondary (grades 6-9) and upper secondary (grades 10-12).
At secondary (grades 6-9) students have 12 compulsory subjects, including but not limited to, Literature, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, History, Geography, and Foreign language. To continue upper secondary level education, students must pass all end-of-year exams at the end of Grade 9. Students will graduate from high school if they pass the Graduation Test (used to cover six subjects), which can be retaken. An alternative upper secondary route is vocational training (trung cấp nghề). Students receive specialized training for a specific trade. After 2.5–3 years students join the workforce.