In Venezuela, the first 9 years of education are compulsory and the school year extends from September through to June / July. 95% of citizens are literate and more than 92% of children attend primary school. Many attend preschool too, before enrolling for 6 primary grades through to age 11. There is little academic standardization beyond the maths curriculum.
After receiving their basic education certificate, pupils move on to middle school to complete their mandatory education comprising 3 more grades. Around age 14 / 15 while in 9th
grade they must choose between following either humanities or sciences under the nation’s diversified education policy.
Two years of non-compulsory secondary school may follow as the diversified education program follows. Upon completion, students receive the title of either Bachiller en Ciencias
or Bachiller en Humanidades
. Some schools include professional education too, in which case their certificate reads Técnico en Ciencias
A steadily growing industrial economy has demanded a re-think in the national education strategy, and an increasing number of young people continue their professional education at a range of technical schools. There they are presented with self-improvement opportunities ranging from short courses through to full-blown trade qualifications.
There are almost 100 institutions of higher education in Venezuela with a million students enrolled at them for free. Technical institutes produce licenciate
technicians after 3 years of training, while university students take 5 years to graduate. Thereafter masters and doctorate courses may be followed.
The largest tertiary institution is the Central University of Venezuela that was founded in 1721 and is one of the oldest in the western hemisphere. The main campus illustrated here was declared a world heritage site in 2000.