School education is free right through state secondary school, and mandatory for primary school grades. 42% of the national budget is applied to education with ongoing efforts to beneficiate rural areas. The process begins with 1 year of pre-school orientation following which children automatically enter primary school. There they pass through grades 1 to 5. At the end of this, they sit a national examination that they must pass too, if they are to enter middle school.
Four years of secondary education cover grades 9 to 12. Students have the final choice between studying at academic or technical levels. If academic, they select one of 4 academic streams (literature and culture, physics / mathematics, socio-economics or experimental sciences. If vocational, they have choices between agriculture, business / vocational training, and technology.
The Technical and Vocational Organization oversees vocational training and provides this at 600 permanent centers, and through mobile classrooms too. It has also authorised over 14,000 private institutions to assist it in creating the crucial skills the country needs, before it may become, finally, a first world economy.
Students wishing to study at university must pass the national entrance examination in order to obtain their high school diploma. Following that, they may enter one of a number of universities, institutes of technology, medical schools and community colleges.
Universities have their own entrance examinations too. If successful once more, their students may obtain a diploma after 2 years study, or a bachelor,s degree after 4. A master’s degree takes a further 2 years, following which they also have the option of pursuing doctorates.