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Education System in China

China has a vast and varied education system. There are preschools, kindergartens, schools for the deaf and blind, primary schools, secondary schools. The Education system in China is divided into three categories: basic education, higher education, and adult education. The Compulsory education law states that each child should have nine years of formal education.

Basic Education

Basic education in China includes pre-school, primary education and regular secondary education.

Pre-school education can last up to three years and the age group here is between 3years – 6years. The academic year is divided into two semesters.

Secondary education is divided into the following:

  •  Academic secondary education and
  • Specialized/vocational/technical secondary education.

Academic secondary education is delivered by academic lower and upper middle schools. Lower middle school graduates who wish to continue their education can take a locally administered entrance exam, on the basis of which they will have the option either of continuing in an academic upper middle school or of entering a vocational secondary school.

Vocational schools on the other hand offer programs ranging from two to four years and train medium-level skilled workers, farmers, and managerial and technical personnel.

Higher Education

Higher education at the undergraduate level includes two-or three-year junior colleges which is also known as short-cycle colleges and four-year colleges, and universities offering programs in both academic and vocational subjects. Many colleges and universities also offer graduate programs leading to the master’s or Ph.D. degree.

Chinese higher education at the undergraduate level can again be divided into three-year and four-year programs. The former is offered not only at short-cycle colleges, but frequently also at four-year colleges and universities. The latter is offered at four-year colleges and universities but do not always lead to the bachelor’s degree.

Adult Education

The adult education category can be divided into three categories

  • Adult primary education
  • Adult higher education
  • Adult higher education

Adult primary education includes Workers’ Primary Schools, Peasants’ Primary Schools, and literacy classes.

Adult secondary education includes radio/TV specialized secondary schools, specialized secondary school for cadres, specialized secondary schools for staff and workers, specialized secondary schools for peasants, in-service teacher training schools and correspondence specialized secondary schools.

Adult higher education includes radio/TV universities, cadre institutes, workers’ colleges, peasant colleges, correspondence colleges, and educational colleges.

Most of the above offer both two- and three-year short-cycle curricula; only a few also offer regular undergraduate curricula.

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