Saturday, October 12, 2013

Swiss Educational System

Often I am asked the question: "How many years does Primary School last in Switzerland?" The answer is: "It depends in which part of Switzerland you live."

With the Intercantonal Agreement on Harmonisation of Compulsory Education, the cantons which have joined the agreement are harmonizing the duration. Implementation is to occur by the start of the 2015/16 school year at the latest. From now on, the primary school level will last 6 years in all cantons except for Ticino.

The big picture of Swiss Educational system:

Most students in Switzerland (95%) complete compulsory education at the state school in the municipality in which they live. 5% attend a private school.

State schools play an important role in integration: children who have different social, linguistic and cultural backgrounds all attend the same school.

Responsibility for compulsory schooling lies with the cantons. Schools are run by the local municipalities. Because education is locally rooted, tailor-made solutions can be implemented. Attendance of state schools is free of charge.

The language of instruction is German, French, Italian or Romansh, depending on the language region, though Romansh-language communities are a special case. Traditionally, language learning has an important role in Switzerland. During their compulsory schooling in most cantons today students learn at least two other languages. These are one of the other languages spoken in Switzerland, and English.

For a more specific picture on Ticino's education system click here:

For a more detailed information on Swiss education click here:

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