Education in Belarus is free at all levels except for higher education. The government ministry that oversees the running of the school systems is the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus. Each of the regions inside Belarus has oversight of the education system, and students may attend either a public (state) or a private school. The current structure of the educational system was established by decree in 1994. The education system is also based on The Education Code of the Republic of Belarus and other educational standards.
Pre-school education is not compulsory in Belarus, but around 70% of children attend nursery (at the ages 1 to 2) and kindergarten (at the ages of 3 to 5) before they start school.
Some kindergartens are specialized to work with psycho-physically challenged children to help them socialize.
Education in primary and secondary schools is required for children from the ages of six until fifteen and lasts for 9 years. After finishing basic education, each student must pass the basic educational curriculum and is given a certificate by the state. Then students are able to enter a professional technical institutions where they can focus on completing their high school education and study to get a professional certificate.
Completion of 11 years of school or a professional certificate allows students to enter higher educational establishments or enter professional technical institutions as well; the length of the schooling depends on what the student has chosen.
See also: List of universities in Belarus
Higher education is in constant growth since 1991. In 2011, 4,725 per 10,000 citizens were undergraduates. Belarus has also adopted the ECTS system, allowing more student mobility. Belarus counts 55 higher education institutions (45 state-owned, 10 private).
To enter a higher educational establishment a student must pass three centralized tests (and get up to 100 points per test).
There are two leading establishments of higher education in national education system:
A ten-point grading scale has been used since 2002. It is used in primary, secondary and higher education.
The grading scale is divided into five levels:
Marks "1" and "2" are considered as "Fail" at school. In higher education, "3" is also considered as "Fail".
Main article: Bologna process
Belarus has been a member of Bologna Process since May 2015.