1. Pre-primary education. This educationallevel is regarded as the first level of theschool system. It concerns children from 3 to6years of age. Six-year-old children areobliged to complete a year of preparationfor primary education (under municipalresponsibility) called “0 grade”. The classesare attached either to kindergartens orprimary-schools. Both private and publicschools can be fee-paying, however in thelatter case the conditions specified in thelegislation apply.
2. Education in Poland starts at the age ofseven in primary school. Next there is the lowersecondary level consisting of three years inschool called gymnasium starting at the age of13, and ending with an exam. This is followed bythe upper secondary level, which has severalalternatives. The most common is a three-yearlyceum or a four-year technique. They bothend with a maturity examination (secondaryschool certificate, roughly equivalent to BritishA-level examination). We used to have thesystem of marks from 2 to5 which was extendedby adding a plus or a minus.
3. In the early 1990 the system wasextended by adding new marks, 1 and6. Now we have marks from 1 to 6. 1 (isinsufficient)2 (is poor)3 (is sufficient)4 (isgood)5 (is very good)6 (is excellent)Inthe new system, 1 is the failing grade,and 6 means that the student exceededthe expectations. In the first stages ofprimary school (I – III classes) there areno marks. The teachers write descriptionsof their pupils’ abilities.
4. A primary school is an institutionwhere children receive the first stageof compulsory education known asprimary or elementary education. InPoland children attend primary schoolfrom the age of 7 to 12.5. A gymnasiums a type of schoolproviding lower secondary education.In Poland pupils attend gymnasium atthe age of 13 –16 and after passing thefinal exam they go to lyceum.
6. Lyceum is an upper secondary schoolwhere young people stay for 3 years. Theschool prepares the students to enter auniversity. At the end of school pupils pass theexam called mature (3 compulsory subjectsand from 1 to 3 optional subjects). Somepupils after gymnasium attend four-yeartechnical schools called technique . Exceptthe subjects of science, languages and Polishliterature they can study technical subjectslike electronics, mechanics, automation,computer technologies.
7. Technique trains low-levelindustrial managers (foremen,technical supervisors etc.) orspecializes in occupations thatrequire more advanced skills. Somepupils may attend vocationalschools preparing them to somephysical jobs. Those students can’tcontinue their education inuniversities and collages.
8. High schools may be followed byseveral forms of upper education:colleges, universities andpolytechnics leading to licentiate(Polish equivalents of Bachelorsdegree), magister (Polish equivalentof Master’s degree) The mostambitious students may continue theeducation and award the Ph.D.degree or even the title of professor.