Preschool in Colombia is mandatory for one year. It has three levels, ranging from babies less than 1 year old to kinder (3 or 4 years old) to children aged of 4 or 5 in transición. Lessons take place in the jardines infantiles and are subsidized by the state. Children are taught basic skills of communication and interaction. In the last year of transición, they start reading and writing. They are expected to know how to read before starting basic education.
Basic education lasts five years and starts when children are five or six years old. Children are encouraged not to repeat any year during basic education, as this creates an extra cost for the government.
If you want information about Jardines infantiles and you can read Spanish, you can check the website, Jardines infantiles de Colombia. Another website, written by the same people is Colegios de Colombia, which gives information about schools and basic education. They provide information about registration, activities, and schools and also have resources for parents, children, teachers, and companies.
Secondary school can last six years, and is split into two parts. The first four years are called basic secondary (from ages 11 to 14) and the last two are middle vocational (from ages 15 to 17).
During the middle vocational school, students should choose courses according to their skills or preferences for the future. Most schools do not offer a large variety of options for their students. Mainly students from a privileged background continue onto higher education.
An alternative for the last three years of school is military school. In Colombia, there are two military schools for each branch of the armed forces (Army, Air Force and Navy). Both men and women can complete military service and receive the title of bachillerato as well as a military card.