The stages of education in Colombia are preschool; basic (primary and secondary or bachillerato); middle education and higher education. According to the PISA report, 47% of students obtain a result that is below the international average. Colombian education is not rated as highly as the Chilean or Mexican systems, but is regarded as being better than in Argentina.
In recent years, the Ministry of Education has taken action to improve the coverage of basic primary education in rural areas. Given the positive results of the program, they are now trying to improve the reach of secondary education in these areas as well.
Basic education in Colombia lasts five years. Secondary education lasts four, and middle education (vocational) lasts two years. After this, you will be awarded a diploma of bachiller when you complete a higher education course.
School calendar and holidays
In Colombia, there are two school calendars - A and B. The usual calendar is A, which starts at the end of January and has four academic periods, finishing in November. There are holidays for Easter, in June-July, and a week in October. All official and public schools use calendar A. Private schools tend to use calendar B, which starts at the beginning of September, and finishes in June. Both calendars have a month or month and a half of holidays for Christmas.