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Education and Schools

Argentina - Education and Schools

Education is compulsory in Argentina from the ages of five to sixteen. Kindergartens are available for younger children but attendance is not mandatory. The education system has four levels; initial, primary, secondary and superior education and is structured to provide technical, artistic, special needs and bilingual training. There are also specific sections which cover education in rural areas and home schooling.

For expats with very young children, kindergartens are a good idea as it will help the children to learn the language at a faster rate. Children of expats are able to enrol in local schools and while there may be some period of adjustment this can help children to become fluent in the local language much more quickly. It can often be difficult for older children to integrate as they will find it harder to pick up the language.

Public primary schools do not charge fees, though private schools which are run by churches or other organisations will have a tuition fee. Students will also have to provide their own books, uniforms and there is no school bus system.

There are a number of international schools in Buenos Aires which will include lessons in Spanish as part of their curriculum in order to improve fluency and which will take children from both the expat and local communities. As Argentina is a popular destination for expat teachers, most schools will have one or more native English speaker on their staff.

Some students will attend school from 8 am until noon while others will begin at 1 pm, finishing at 5 pm and the school year runs from March to December. Private schools divide the year into three terms while public schools have two semesters.

Students in poorer areas who need to work to support their families may not continue their education at secondary school but those who wish to study at university must spend a minimum of five years at secondary school and take the Argentine baccalaureate examination. A number of vocational schools exist for those who are less academic.

University education is free for those attending state universities, and there is no entrance exam. Private universities do charge tuition fees and these vary depending on the institution. Argentine universities have more part-time students than those in other parts of the world and often a degree will take a minimum of five years to complete.

All teachers in Argentina must be properly qualified for their role and are required to undergo regular training and assessments.

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