Public school in Switzerland

Three types of education and training exist after completing compulsory schooling :

Schooling begins at the age of 4 years on July 31. At the age of six, the child then enters primary school, which lasts six years. This is followed by Secondary I, also known as the Orientation Cycle, which lasts three years.

Gymnasium training : is followed at the Collège and leads in four years to a gymnasium maturity. This is a selective programme which concerns 20% of the students in Switzerland (40% in the canton of Geneva).

The school of general culture : combines a general culture education with professional training, in the fields of health and social work for example. 15% of the Swiss aged from 15 to 20 following this course, leads to a specialised maturity.

Initial education and training : This is a combination of work and school-based training. It can last three or four years and leads to a Federal Certificate of Competence (CFC), or only two years leading to a Federal Vocational Training Certificate (AFP). On a national average, 65% of Swiss aged 15 to 20 follow this route.

For more information on the school system in Geneva, go to

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