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Colombia – Education and Schools

Colombia is a country located in South America, with a population of approximately 50 million people. The education system in Colombia is overseen by the Ministry of Education. In this article, we will explore the quality of education in Colombia, the compulsory education ages, breakdown the types of schools available by age, syllabus and qualifications offered, typical school hours and holidays, enrollment process, and international schools. We will also provide information on higher education options in Colombia.

Quality of Education in Colombia

The quality of education in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, but it still faces challenges. According to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, Colombian students scored below the average in mathematics, reading, and science. However, the government of Colombia has made significant investments in education, including funding for new schools, teacher training, and technology.

Compulsory Education Ages

In Colombia, education is compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 17. This includes primary and secondary education.

Types of Schools Available in Colombia

Preschool

Preschool is available for children between the ages of 3 and 5. It is an optional two-year program that prepares children for primary school.

Primary School


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Primary school is compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 11 and lasts for five years. Students learn subjects such as mathematics, science, social studies, language, and physical education.

Lower Secondary School

Lower secondary school is not compulsory, but it is available for students between the ages of 11 and 15. Lower secondary school lasts for four years and focuses on the core subjects of mathematics, science, social studies, language, and physical education.

Upper Secondary School

Upper secondary school is not compulsory, but it is available for students between the ages of 15 and 17. Upper secondary school lasts for two years and offers a range of subjects, including mathematics, science, social studies, language, and physical education.

Syllabus and Qualifications

Schools in Colombia follow a national curriculum that is overseen by the Ministry of Education. The curriculum includes subjects such as mathematics, science, social studies, language, and physical education.

After completing upper secondary education, students can take the Saber 11 exam, which is a standardized test that qualifies students for higher education.

School Hours and Holidays

School hours in Colombia vary depending on the level of education. Primary school students typically have four hours of class per day, while secondary school students have six hours of class per day.

The school year in Colombia runs from February to November and includes two semesters. Students have a one-week break in March, a two-week break for Easter, a one-week break in June, and a one-week break in October. The school year ends in November, and students have a two-month break during December and January.

Enrollment Process

In order to enroll in a school in Colombia, students must provide a birth certificate, a proof of address, a health certificate, and a copy of their Saber 11 exam results (for upper secondary education). For students transferring from another school, a transfer certificate is also required.

There is significant competition for enrollment in the more prestigious schools in Colombia, particularly in urban areas.

International Schools in Colombia

For expat families, there are several international schools available in Colombia that offer education in English or other languages. These schools typically follow the curriculum of their home country and offer qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE).

Some international schools in Colombia include:

Higher Education in Colombia

There are several higher education options available in Colombia, including universities, colleges, and technical schools. Colombian universities offer undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of subjects, including engineering, medicine, law, and humanities.

In order to be eligible for higher education in Colombia, students must pass the Saber 11 exam. The exam covers subjects such as mathematics, language, social studies, and natural sciences.

Some popular universities in Colombia include:

In conclusion, the education system in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, but it still faces challenges. Education is compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 17 and includes primary and secondary education. Schools in Colombia follow a national curriculum overseen by the Ministry of Education and offer qualifications that qualify students for higher education. School hours and holidays vary depending on the level of education, and enrollment in schools is competitive. For expat families, there are several international schools available in Colombia that offer education in English or other languages. Finally, higher education options in Colombia include universities, colleges, and technical schools that offer undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of subjects.


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