Education in Kazakhstan is universal and mandatory from kindergarten to the secondary level or high school, which are protected under the Constitution. Supervised by the Ministry of Education, the educational system consists of the kindergarten, primary education, lower secondary education, higher secondary education, and higher education.
The kindergarten is for children of at least five years of age who are taught appropriate Kazakh and Russian lessons for one year. The primary education is free to all six-year old citizens and starting from year one, lasts five years in primary schools owned by the government. The lower secondary education, or the Junior High School in some Western countries, is offered from Grade 5 to the ninth year in a general education curriculum having subjects of history, literature, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and foreign language like English. The higher secondary education is subsidized by the government and is divided into three tracks. The first track is for students in Grades 10 to 11, while the second track consists of initial vocational education offered by training schools. Colleges and trade schools provide the secondary vocational education in the third track. The higher education is patterned after the Russian system that focuses only on teaching without research.
Offered by universities, higher education has 4-year courses leading to the Bachelor’s Degree; a 5-year course for a Specialist Degree; 2-year course for a Master’s Degree; and a 5-year course for a Doctoral Degree. The country also has colleges that provide general and advanced vocational education, and lycees that offer basic vocational education to prepare students for skilled jobs.