Education Services in Germany

Education in Germany begins with optional nursery school (kindergarten), which is available at three year olds for a small fee assessed to parents. However, waiting lists for kindergarten in the western area of Germany are so long that some parents will actually sign their babies up practically the moment they are born, just so they can get their infants a space by the time they are old enough to attend kindergarten.


After kindergarten, by the age of 6 they are required to go to a primary school for the next four years. After this, in many parts of Germany, the students will be recommended for one of three types of secondary schools. They will be steered either into High School, lasting through 10th grade, for vocational training of less academically gifted students, or Real School, also to 10th grade, for math and language training of intermediary students, or Gymnasium, lasting through the 12th or 13th year, for college preparation of the brightest students, with lots of accompanying homework.


However, some states in Germany follow a different plan, where all students are taught together in the same secondary school, and they can either leave after 10th grade, or continue on to 13th grade.

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