Education System of Italy

Education in Italy is free and compulsory for eight years like for the children between ages of 6 and 14. Education system in Italy is run by state and free education is provided to primary and secondary level students even for the children of foreigners can also enjoy free education according to their stay in Italy. Primary education last for five years and secondary education “Scuole medie” is supplementary divided in two stages like “Medie Inferioro” that correspond to middle school grades and “Medie Superiori” that correspond to secondary school level. Middle school lasts for 3 years and “Scuole Superiori” lasts for 5 years. Every class involves an exam at the end of final year. There are also private schools in Italy but they have compulsion that they must also conform to government standards but various students in Italy attend Public institutions.


The Italy has standardized education system because curriculum and exam materials are set by two bodies “the Ministry of Education and the National Education Council”. The basic aim of this standardization is to ensure that all students receive an equal and quality education. In Italian system hard work starts early as children are tested annually and passing exam is basically important for advancing. In Italy there is a strong emphasis on oral testing as compared to written.


School education for children is required to start at the age of 5 or 6 and young children sometimes attend nurseries “starting at three months” or “Scuola Materna” 3-5 years. These nurseries basically functions as child care and spots for children not guaranteed. This is not like “Scuola Materna” that involves educational aspects and where child is ensured a place. Scuola Materna is optional but various children attend. It is also free in public institutions only but if parents choose private institution then parents need to pay some charges.


In “Scuola Superiore” students need to spend another 3-5 years either at “a liceo” an academically centered school or “an istituto” a vocationally centered school. The first two years is dedicated for general studies and followed one or three years are for specialized education. Students choose their specialized education courses according to their interests whether they plan to go to university or have wish to get vocational qualification. Specialization subjects include “classical, scientific, fine arts” for academics and “teacher training, artistic, technical and professional” for vocational schools.


Before going to university students must need to complete five years of upper secondary schooling and receive an upper secondary diploma “Diploma Di Maturita” that is acquired by passing written and oral exams. There are three written exams like

  1. Literature, history, society or science
  2. On student’s specialization
  3. On contemporary topics and foreign language.

The oral exam is based on subjects that student learned in his/her final year of school.

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