Primary and secondary education
Primary and lower secondary education
In Syria, primary and lower secondary education together form 1 phase: the basic phase. Since 2002, pupils aged 6 to 15 must complete the 9-year basic phase. Pupils complete the basic phase with a central national exam for the Basic Education Certificate.
Basic Education Certificate
- Duration: 9 years.
- Content: general subjects, such as Arabic, a foreign language, mathematics and religion.
- Diploma: Basic Education Certificate / شهادة الدراسة التعليم الأساسي.
Upper secondary education
After the basic phase, students can move on to the upper secondary education. Students have to choose either general or vocational upper secondary education. Depending on their choice, they sit exams for 1 of the following diplomas:
- General Secondary Education Certificate
- Vocational Secondary Education Certificate
General Secondary Education Certificate
Students with good results for the Basic Education Certificate usually move on to the upper level of general secondary education. At the end of this upper level, they can obtain the General Secondary Education Certificate.
- Duration: 3 years.
- Content: the 1st year is an introductory year for all students. From the 2nd year onwards, they specialise: they either choose the literary section or the scientific section. In the 3rd year, students complete a national school-leaving exam.
- Diploma: General Secondary Education Certificate / شھادة الدراسة الثانویة العامة. The diploma is also called the Baccalaureate.
We compare the General Secondary Education Certificate / شھادة الدراسة الثانویة العامة to a HAVO diploma.
Vocational Secondary Education Certificate
Students can obtain a Vocation Secondary Education Certificate after completing 3 years of vocational secondary education at technical schools.
- Duration: 3 years.
- Content: mainly vocational subjects with a lot of emphasis on practice. Students choose a specialisation, for example industry, trade or agriculture.
- Diploma: Vocational Secondary Education Certificate / شهادة الدراسة الثانوية المهنية. The specialisation is always part of the diploma name. Therefore, the name depends on the specialisation the student has taken. For example:
- Industrial Vocational Secondary Education Certificate
الشهادة الثانوية المهنية الصناعية
- Commercial Vocational Secondary Education Certificate
الشهادة الثانوية المهنية التجارية
- Agriculture Vocational Secondary Education Certificate
الشهادة الثانوية المهنية الزراعية
We compare a Vocational Secondary Education Certificate / شهادة الدراسة الثانوية المهنية to an MBO diploma level 2 or 3. This depends on the content of the study programme.