What are the stages of school education in India

With the new academic year just around the corner, every parent is concerned about their child’s education. For many parents, it will be the first time their child will attend offline school classes. Parents whose children will be attending school for the first time are busy finding the best options out there.

Nowadays, a child’s education is not limited to just studying from textbooks and scoring good marks in board exams. Schooling is more about grooming, imparting practical knowledge, developing leadership skills and much more beyond academic knowledge.

Parents usually have many questions in their mind, like:

  • At what age should a child start their schooling?
  • When do admissions in schools start?
  • How to choose the right school?
  • How are regular schools different from online school classes

To find the right answers, first, you have to know the basics of the Indian education system, what the stages are, etc. Here are some details for you to get started with:

  • Pre Primary Education

Pre-primary education in India generally starts at the age of 3 and goes on till the age of 6, which comprises kindergartens or playschools. These schools have varying names for different levels of classes, beginning from – Pre-Nursery, Nursery, KG, LKG (Lower Kindergarten), and UKG (Upper Kindergarten). Nowadays, most people start school as early as possible, and there are many private school options available in most towns and cities.

  • Primary Education

Depending on the requirement and budget of parents, they choose to enroll children in either a government school or a private school. It is usually provided to students aged between 5 to 12 years. The duration of study in this phase is 4-5 years. Typical subjects include English, Hindi, or regional language (depending on the board), Mathematics, Environmental Science, and General Knowledge.

The Government has made primary education compulsory for children between the age group of years 6 and 14. Most schools in India impart primary education from class 1st to class 4th or 5th. Some of the states/union territories that follow the 1st to 5th class of primary education are Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Orissa, Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi,  Karaikal, and Yanam regions of Pondicherry, etc. Some of the states/union territories that follow 1st to 4th classes of primary education are Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, and Mahe region of Pondicherry

  • The Middle School

It covers 3-4 years of academic study and is formed by the 5th-8thclass consisting of students aged between 12 to 14 years. The schools that impart education up to 8th class are known with various names like – High School, Senior School. Some of the states/union territories that follow the 5th -7th class of middle stage are Assam, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, etc. Some of the states/union territories that follow the 6th -8th class of the middle stage are Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Delhi, etc.

  • The Secondary School

The secondary stage of education covering 2-3 years of academic study starts with classes 8th-10th, consisting of students aged between 14-16 years. The schools that impart education up to 10th class are known as Secondary Schools, High Schools, Senior Schools, etc. Some of the states/union territories that follow the 8th -10th class of secondary stage are Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep, etc. Some of the states/union territories that follow the 9th -10th class of secondary stage are Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Delhi, Karaikal region of Pondicherry, etc.

  • Senior Secondary School/Higher Secondary School

It is of only 2 years. There is uniformity at this level of education in terms of the duration and classes i.e. all the States/UTs follow this 10+2 pattern. Senior Secondary Schools in India include classes 11th to 12th and consiste of students aged between 16-18 years usually. At this level of education, students can choose their preferred stream and subjects. They can pursue Arts, Commerce, Science (medical & nonmedical). The schools which provide education up to the 12th class are commonly known as Senior Secondary Schools or Higher Secondary Schools. Many schools are affiliated with secondary schools while some states have specific Junior colleges. Some students also choose to do a diploma after their 10th class instead of appearing for the 12th exam.

We hope this blog helped you get an overview of the Indian school education system.

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Nitin Virmani

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