Education in Central America is mainly provided by the private sector, but public education is improving gradually and obtaining higher enrollment rates. After the formation of the Federation, education was standarized in its constituiting states. Education is compulsory from ages 6 to 18.
Funding comes from three levels: federal, statal and local. The Federal Government establishes the educational curricula, compulsory subjects which must be coursed in both public and private institutions. Other extra-curricular subjects/activities are regulated by either statal education departaments, city councils or individual institutions.
Grades are divided in three levels, spanning around approximately 12 grades of compulsory study, three years of preschool and usually four or five years of terciary education: Elementary education (Primaria, comprising preschool and primary school), Middle education (Educación Media or Secundaria, comprising middle school and high school) and Terciary education (Educación Terciaria or Educación Superior).
In the first two educational cicles, the school year consists of approximately 10 months, from mid-January to mid-October, having vacations for major events, such as Holy Week or a week during an electoral year, and a "mid-year" break in June. In institutions following the Federal Curriculum, the year is divided in four bimonthly units. A final test is passed at the end of each unit. Partial tests are passed through the unit, weekly or in irregular intervals, according to the teacher's desires.
In the case of Tertiary education, units are divided in semesters. Grading takes the name of "credits", established at a total of 50 credits per unit, distributed in projects, essays and tests, among others, of around 1 to 5 credits each one, along with non-graded assignments. A two 10-credit tests are passed at the middle and the final of each unit.
The Federal Curriculum stablishes the grading for each unit at 100 points, usually suggesting a division of 40 points for general class and homework assignments, 20 points for the behavioral area and 40 points for the final unit's test. The teachers must have a table with al leats 20 slots, indicating the grading, due date and concept for each assignment given through the unit. Some schools use foreign educational models, varying this method considerably.
The educational reforms as consequence of the creation of the Federation have led to several issues in matters of funding and quality of the education, along with other long lasting situations which haven't been dealt with.