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The Indian School system

Almost all children are enrolled in the school system and start school when they are 6 years old. It is the government’s objective that all children complete 5th grade in primary school and upper primary until the age of 14 years. However, far from all children receive fundamental education on a regular basis and correspond to the government’s objective. Furthermore, only few children actually complete the 12 school years that qualify them for further studies.

State schools are free of charge in India, whereas higher education and private schools, which typically offer a better standard than the state schools, charge school fees. The private schools are financed by donations and foundations, which tends to create a greater choice of subjects than is the case with the state schools. The teaching language is typically local, but classes are also taught in English, which is an official language as well.

Access to higher education is a problem in the country districts because of the distance to institutions of higher education. Boys’ education typically has a higher priority than that of the girls. This is especially a problem for young women from traditional families and poor country regions, as the women here are expected to get married and become housewives, provided for by their husbands. Many women even with higher education follow these customs.


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