Education is compulsory and free for all children aged 6 to 14. Uruguay has an enviable record of compliance, and also of the high number of primary school pupils who enroll in secondary school. Children enter the former at age 6 where they receive their grounding in academic subjects.
The first phase of secondary schooling lasts for 2 years and completes the mandatory period. Instruction continues in the fundamentals of subjects that include history, languages, maths and sciences.
During their three years at secondary school, young students have choices between several streams depending on their vision for their futures. All conclude with a bachellerito, which is not unlike a United States high school diploma, and entitles them to enter university. All school education is under control of the ministry of education and culture.
A relatively small number of secondary school-age students attend vocational schools instead, where they receive guidance in practical skills that will help them pursue chosen careers. They could continue with shorter courses later on, or enroll in one of the international programs aimed at uplifting Uruguay’s poor.
Education continues to be free at tertiary levels. Advanced vocational training is provided by the Labor University of Uruguay through industrial and night schools. The Catholic University is also well renowned.
However the oldest and most venerable of all of these is the University of the Republic, founded in 1849 and depicted here. This institution benefits from a distinguished medical school serving students from throughout the entire region. It has 14 other faculties too.