Education System in Sri Lanka


 EducationSchool/LevelGrade FromGrade ToAge FromAge ToYearsNotes
PrimaryPrimary156115 
Middlejunior secondary level6912144 
SecondarySenior Secondary101115162 
Post-secondaryG.C.E O/Ls - General Certificate of Education (G.C.E) Ordinary Level (O/Ls)121317182Students who are pursuing tertiary education must pass the G.C.E O/Ls in order to enter the collegiate level to study for another 2 years (grades 12-13) to sit for the G.C.E Advanced Level. On successful completion of this exam, students can move on to tertiary education, there for the GCE A/Ls is the university entrance exam in Sri Lanka.
VocationalVocational      
TertiaryTertiary      

Primary Education

School education in Sri Lanka is compulsory through to age 14, when students may disengage in favor of an apprenticeship or job. The first 5 years are spent in primary school. At the end of this there is an optional scholarship examination that may permit access to a superior grade of school.

Middle Education

Four years of middle school follow to complete the compulsory education phase. The curriculum comprises pre-determined academic subjects with little or no choice allowed.

Secondary Education

Grades 10 and 11 prepare secondary school students who wish to attempt their GCE O-Levels. However they must continue at collegiate levels for a similar period, and complete their A-Levels too, if they wish to subsequently enter university to study further.

Vocational Education

The state provides a number of vocational and technical training centers, and programs for apprenticeship training too. These take place within a system of seven levels of qualifications, of which the upper one is rated equivalent to degree level.

Tertiary Education

Sri Lanka EducationThere are a variety of tertiary academic institutions where programs may be followed that range from one-year certificates through to doctorates. The most venerable of these is the University of Colombo, which is also the largest institution on the island and is illustrated here.


It was established in 1921 in affiliation with the University of London. Today its students study in independent faculties that include medicine, science, law, education, arts, management & finance, graduate studies, and computing.


© 2018, Scholaro, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Your use of this service is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.