In Estonia, all children under the age of 17 get secondary education. The preschool level is optional, but the government is trying to make it available for every family: from 50% to 100%depending on the salary of the parents of kindergarten, costs are paid by the state.
Basic school begins at the age of 7. It is not formally divided into middle and high school — compulsory studies are from the 1 to 9 grade and consist of 3 periods, each period introduces new subjects:
- 1st period: 1-3 grade;
- 2nd period: 4-6 grade;
- 3rd period: 7-9 grade.
High School in Estonia is not compulsory. Those who decide to continue their studies can choose from two options for education:
- Academic: grades 10-12 at the gymnasium, and then admission to the university;
- Vocational: secondary vocational education at a school or a technical school.
During secondary education, a child can study in Estonian or Russian. There are many more Estonian schools in the country since only this language has the status of the official one. In Russian schools, it is always studied along with the second foreign language.
Also in Estonia, there are several private schools with international programs: British or American. Studies are conducted in English and cost from 3,129 USD to 10,429 USD per year.
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