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Bhutan has a 7-2-2-2 formal education structure. Primary school has an official entry age of six and a duration of seven years. These seven years encompass a year of pre-primary (which takes place in primary schools), followed by grades 1-6. Secondary school consists of grades 7 12 and is broken down into lower secondary (grades 7-8), middle secondary (grades 9-10), and higher secondary (grades 11-12). Basic education extends to the end of middle-secondary (grade 10) and is, in principle, free and compulsory. Students sit for the examinations at the ends of grades six, eight, ten, and twelve. The Bhutan Certificate of Secondary Education (BCSE) at the end of grade 10 determines whether students will advance to government-funded higher secondary school. The academic year is broken down into two semesters (UNESCO IBE, World Data on Education. 7th Edition, 2010-2011. Revised 7/2011).
A change in government policy in 2008 combined Community Primary Schools and Primary Schools so they are now considered the same.
According to UIS data, the structure of the education system in Bhutan changed from 7-2-2 in 2002 to 7-4-2 in 2003
Among other data sources, unique EPDC data collections for Bhutan include administrative data from the Ministry of Education (2009 - 2012), household survey data from LSS (2003), and indicators derived from UIS data.
For an overview of current education conditions in Bhutan, please view our education profiles.
Last updated: 10/2012
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