The Argentina K-12 Education System

The Ministry of Education (In Spanish: Ministerio de Educacion) oversees the educational matters in Argentina. In Argentina, school attendance is mandatory from the ages 5 to 14, and these year are known as “Basic General Education (In Spanish: Educacion General Basica - EGB). 

Compulsory education in Argentina is split up into 3 cycles (ciclos) and includes grades 1 to 9. 

The schools in Argentina, both private and state schools, follow a curriculum that includes at least 2 hours of English lessons per week, until the child turns 9 years old. Also, Spanish is taught in some of the schools. In private schools, international students get an additional help with learning Spanish language.  

K-12 Education System

Early Childhood/Pre-school Education

Pre-school education in Argentina starts at 45 days old and ends when a child turns 5 years old. The pre-schools in Argentina comprises of 2 levels:

Jardin Maternal : This level runs from 45 days old to 3 years old.

Jardin de Infantes: This level is from 3 to 5 years old. 

Primary Education

Primary education (In Spanish: Educacion Primaria Basica - EPB) in Argentina starts at the age of 6 and lasts for 6-7 years, depending on the region. A core curriculum is laid down by the Education Council. 

Curriculum: Technology, language, social science, physical education, mathematics, arts, ethics and citizenship, and natural sciences. 

Admission requisite

To gain admittance into the primary education:
  • Students must be 6 years old
  • Parents must submit the child's National Identity Document (Documento Nacional de Identidad) or a photocopy of the birth certificate
  • The health certificate of the child must also be submitted, indicating that the child has received all the required vaccinations. 
To know more about the admission requirements or documents needed for primary school, contact the respective school. 

Secondary Education

Depending on the region, the duration of secondary education is 5-6 years. This duration can extend for 1 more year in the professional and artistic technical studies.
In Argentina, there are three types of secondary schools:

Bachiller schools: These schools focus on humanistic studies

Commercial schools: These schools emphasize on economic sciences and related studies

Technical schools (Escuelas Tecnicas): These schools emphasize on technical and scientific education.

Secondary education in Argentina is split up into 2 cycles:

Basic Cycle (Ciclo Basico)

This cycle is also known as lower-secondary education and is for students aged from 12 to 14 years. This cycle of secondary education is compulsory to attend. 
  • Grades: 7-9
  • Duration: 3 years

Oriented Cycle (Ciclo Orientado)

This cycle is also known as upper-secondary education and is for students aged from 15 to 17/18 years. This cycle of secondary education is not compulsory. 
  • Duration: 3-4 years
This cycle offers more specialised study.  

Fields of study: Communication, economics and management, computing, humanities, art and design, social science, tourism, business studies, agro and environment, and natural sciences. 

Admission requisite: 
To gain admittance into secondary education, students must submit following documents:
  • Completion certificate of primary education- Certificate of primary education (Certificado de Educacion Primaria)
  • National Identity Document (Documento Nacional de Identidad)
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • 2 passport photographs
  • Health booklet (Libreta Sanitaria Materno-Infantil) indicating up-to-date vaccinations
The upper-secondary education depends on the field selected by the student:
  • Secondary education oriented (Educacion Secundaria Orientad)
  • Secondary technical and vocational education mode (Educacion Secundaria Modalidad Tecnico Profesional)
  • Artistic mode secondary education (Educacion Secundaria Modalidad Artistica)
  • Secondary continuing education for Youth and Adults (Educacion Secundaria Modalidad de Educacion Permanente de Jovenes y Adultos)

Secondary Technical and Vocational Education Mode

This mode of secondary education prepares students for a specific trade and career, and develops skills and knowledge in that particular trade. The title of graduation from vocational secondary education Technical mode is "Technical" with references to the relevant specialist. This mode prepares pupils for the job market or for higher education. 

Study load: 30 hours per week

Artistic Mode Secondary Education

This mode of secondary education offers a comprehensive and specific education in several languages and fields of art and its forms of contemporary production.  Artistic secondary education mode conducts orientations, specializations and tecnicaturas-in media arts, music, design, theatre, multimedia, dance, visual arts, and other specialities. 

Study load: Between 25 and 30 hours per week

Art education prepares pupils for taking admission into both higher education and the job market. 

Upon completion, following degrees are conferred: 
  • Bachelor of Arts (Bachiller en Arte,) with references to language or artistic discipline
  • Bachelor ...( Bachiller) with reference to the attended specialization
  • Technical (Tecnico (en)) with references to the attended specialization

Secondary Education Mode- Continuing Education for Youth and Adults

This type of secondary education is for young people and adults, giving them the opportunity to achieve an equal standard of education while also combating illiteracy.
Upon completion, students are awarded the Bachiller certificate, which also states the profile undertaken. Also, this mode allows the students to enter higher education.

School Academic Year

The school academic year in Argentina state schools usually commences at the beginning of March and concludes in mid-December. 
The summer holidays takes place during this period. The dates vary depending on the region. Winter holidays begin in mid-July, and are known as receso. 
Some private schools in Argentina, mainly the bilingual ones may commence in early-February and have midterm holidays at different time periods.  

School day:
The school week runs from Monday to Friday. Many of the schools split up their academic day into two sessions and a child attends only one session per school day. These two sessions run from:
  •  08:15 to 12:15
  • 13:00 to 17:15
The timings and sessions may vary depending on the province.

Children with Disabilities

The Ministry of Education declares in its charter the right to education at all levels-pre-school, primary and secondary, and higher, for any child with temporary or permanent disabilities.

School Grading System

The school education system- primary and secondary education use a 1-10 grading scale. The passing grade is 4. 

To know more about the K-12 education grading system, click here.
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