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Education in Bijan is mandatory for all children aged 5–16.  The school year in Bijan runs from late January to early December. 

Education today

The Bijani school system can be divided into three parts: primary school (elementa lernejo, ages 5–11), lower secondary school (suba mezlernejo, ages 11–15), and upper secondary school (supra mezlernejo, ages 15–18). School is compulsory for all children ages 5–16.  Before 1997, the mandatory education in Bijan started at the age of seven. Students almost always have to change schools when moving between the levels, as most schools only offer one of the levels.

Primary school (J1–J6, ages 5–11)

In the first year of primary school (J1), the students spend most of their time playing educational games, learning social structures, the alphabet, basic addition and subtraction, and basic foreign language skills (usually English, less often Spanish, French, German or Russian). In years two through six (J2–J6), they are introduced to mathematics, Esperanto, English, science, religions, aesthetics and gymnastics, complemented by geography, history and the social studies beginning in the fourth year (J4). No official grades are given at this level, however, the teacher often writes comments, analysis and sometimes an unofficial grade on tests. Tests are to be taken home and shown to parents. There is also an introductory test to inform teachers of students who would benefit from advanced placement or assisted learning services.  Children are tested again every second year (J2, J4 & J6) to ensure they are progressing at a rate commensurate with their peers.

Lower secondary school (J7–J10; ages 11–15)

When students enter lower secondary school at age 11 or 12, they begin getting grades for their work. Their grades together with their location in the country will determine whether the get accepted into their high school of choice or not. From year seven (J7) onward, students can choose an elective. Typical subjects the students are offered are foreign languages (German, French, Spanish, Russian, as well as additional English and Esperanto studies). Since 2007, students are allowed two electives.  Students are tested in J8 and J10.

Upper secondary school (J11–J13, ages 15–18)

Upper secondary school (akin to high school) lasts three years. Prior to 1997, upper secondary was optional, but changes to society and law have made it largely unavoidable in practice. Secondary education in Bijan takes place primarily in public schools; in 2007, 93% of upper secondary school students attended public schools. Prior to 1997, there were three branches of upper secondary schooling: general, mercantile and vocational studies. These were merged into a single system to give all students more access to all three branches.

 

School year

The school year in Bijan follows the calendar year, beginning in January and ending in December.  A year-round school system is required for all primary, lower and upper secondary schools, though schools can choose between a three-term or four-term schedule.  Though municipal and county councils have certain discretion over local school matters, many issues, such as the calendar and the national curriculum, are the province of the Ministry of Education.  In primary schools, there must be 192 in-class days each year.  Secondary schools must have 180 in-class days.

Three-term

In three-term schools, the school year consists of three terms, each lasting 64 days (primary) or 60 days (secondary).  In between terms is a break of 16 days (primary) or 20 days (secondary).  Term 1 lasts from January to April, Term 2 from May to August, and Term 3 from September to late-November or early-December.  At the end of the year, a winter break of 24 days (primary) or 28 days (secondary) takes place from December to the next January.  Approximately 31% of schools in Bijan are three-term schools, with most of them located in the country's urban areas.

Three-term primary and secondary school schedules
Term 2014 2015
Primary Secondary Primary Secondary
Term 1 January 22–April 23 January 24–April 21 January 21–April 22 January 23–April 20
no classes on February 18 or April 7 no classes on February 18 or April 6
Term 2 May 19–August 15 May 21–August 13 May 18–August 14 May 20–August 12
no classes on July 16 no classes on July 16
Term 3 September 9–December 9 September 11–December 5 September 8–December 8 September 10–December 4
no classes on September 18 or November 11 no classes on September 18 or November 11


Four-term

In four-term schools, the school year consists of four terms, each lasting 48 days (primary) or 45 days (secondary).  In between terms is a break of 12 days (primary) or 16 days (secondary).  Term 1 lasts from January to March, Term 2 from April to June, Term 3 from July to September, and Term 4 from October to December.  At the end of the year, a winter break of 20 days takes place from December to January.  The traditional four-term school is by far the most common in Bijan, with 69% of schools using this schedule.

Four-term primary and secondary school schedules
Term 2014 2015
Primary Secondary Primary Secondary
Term 1 January 20–March 27 January 20–March 24 January 19–March 26 January 19–March 23
no classes on February 18 no classes on February 18
Term 2 April 16–June 23 April 17–June 19 April 15–June 22 April 16–June 18
no classes on May 1 no classes on May 1
Term 3 July 10–September 16 July 14–September 15 July 9–September 15 July 13–September 14
no classes on July 16 no classes on July 16
Term 4 October 6–December 11 October 9–December 11 October 5–December 10 October 8–December 10
no classes on November 11 no classes on November 11

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