Structure of Education in Poland
The structure of education in Poland consists of both state and private institutes of Primary, Secondary and Higher Education. Commencing 5th May 2006, there are two distinct education ministries, the Ministry of National Education is accountable for educational strategy in Poland with the exclusion of higher education, which is the duty of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education with the backing of the General Council for Advanced Education.
Full-time compulsory education takes ten years in Poland (normally from age six to sixteen, nevertheless in no circumstance further than the age of eighteen) and covers teaching in the '0 grade', in the six-year primary schools and in the three-year subordinate secondary schools (gimnazja). Compulsory education is free of cost for all the students.
The school year is separated into two semesters: 1) starting the first working day of September to the final Saturday prior to the winter holidays; 2) commencing the Monday after the winter vacation till the first Friday after June 18th. The advanced education academic year instigates on 1 October and generally ends at the end of June. It is also divided into two semesters.
The primary language of instruction is Polish.
School Education in Poland
The Polish school system s divided into the following stages:
- Primary School
- Gimnazjum – Lower Secondary School
- Secondary School
Education in public schools is free of cost, in private schools it is paid (except for the students included in scholarship programs run by some public or private institutions). Child's stay in a public kindergarten on the other hand is paid however; the rules vary depending on location, as they are set by district governments.
Kindergarten / Pre-Primary Education
Pre-primary education is viewed as the first level of the school in Poland. Although not compulsory, a kid aged three to five may have pre-primary education. Kindergartens serve as care and education institutions. The schools are intended to provide social and intellectual development of the kids. Beginning 2004/2005, though, it is required for all six year old children to finish a year of training in kindergarten for admittance to primary education named ‘0 grade’ (zerowka).
Children amongst the ages of seven and thirteen join primary school (szkoly podstawowe) for a time period of six years. Entrance is based on age. The range of primary education is decided by the Ministry of National Education via a core syllabus and outline timetables. Students take on a standardised exam in the last part of grade six. The examination merely serves as an indicator of the level which has been accomplished.
Lower Secondary Education
Primary schooling is followed by a 3-year lower secondary level (Gimnazjum), the correspondent of the German intermediate secondary level. This ends up with an obligatory examination where there is no leeway of failure, the marks achieved by students, however; being of significance when it comes to selecting the subsequent school. These marks form the basis of admission to a higher school, some schools conduct additional entrance assessments.
Intermediate school education is followed by a selection of attending a technical professional school, a specialist upper secondary school, a general upper secondary school, or a basic vocational school.
As Polish Secondary Education are defined the schools that a student may attend after graduating from a Gimnazjum. There are different types:
- Three-year general high school, concluding with a maturity (Matura) examination;
- Four-year technical high school, concluding with issuance of a vocational certification and a maturity assessment
- three-year basic vocational school, concluding with issuance of a diploma approving vocational qualifications in a given profession/s;
- For technical and general high school graduates, further education in post-secondary schools, or after passing the maturity examination – tertiary education opportunities are offered.
- Students who do not graduate from general or technical high or vocational school get the opportunity to last their education in general high schools for adults, which can conclude with a maturity examination.
Matura (Maturity) Examination
Matura (Maturity) examination is a national state exam for technical and general high school graduates performed in all Poland schools together, usually in May. It is not a compulsory examination. Passing grade in this examination is, however, a prerequisite of further study at tertiary education institutions.
The prerequisite for passing the examination is to obtain 30% of the points available in each subject tested in the obligatory segment of the examination.
Tertiary Education in Poland
Till recently, higher education institutions in Poland were separated into ‘higher education schools’ and special ‘schools of higher vocational education’ which were developed and operated on the centre of separate regulation.
Now in Poland, there are several types of studies. They differ in terms of requirements the student must fulfil to be accepted, the duration of the learning interval and professional academic titles, which a student is granted upon completion:
Three-Cycle Degree System
- First-cycle (Bachelor degree) packages with a period of three to four years, which make possible the degree of licencjat, or 3.5 to four year programmes heading to the degree of inzynier (technical). A Bachelor degree allows its holder to run a given profession and permits access to second-cycle packages.
- Second-cycle (Master’s degree) programmes with a period of 1.5 to two years that lead to the grade of magister or an equivalent degree, liable on the field of education. A Master’s degree enables its holder to exercise a given profession and sanctions admission to third-cycle.
- Long-cycle (Master’s degree) with a duration of about 4.5 and six years that lead to the prestigious degree of magister or an comparable degree, reliant on the field of learning. The award holder has right of entry to third-cycle programmes.
After obtaining a professional degree, students are offered to continue their education at:
- Third-cycle or doctoral programmes are available to applicants who have a Master’s degree (magister or a comparable degree) and who satisfy admission situations laid down by a particular institution. Third-cycle or doctoral programmes with a usual duration of about three to four years finish with the award of doctor.
- Postgraduate programmes which aim to deepen knowledge in a specific discipline. The programmes last from 2 to 4 semesters. The programmes conclude with a certificate of completion of postgraduate studies. This is not a degree/diploma; students do not receive any academic title, or a professional degree.