Primary and Secondary Education in Switzerland

Despite a significant portion of the day being devoted to hockey training, education is an equally important component of the program.

The education system in Switzerland is unique, combining the best traditions of European and American approaches, complemented by local specifics. In addition to quality and prestige, it is characterized by flexibility, based on a vast variety of educational pathways.

Primary and secondary education in Switzerland is mandatory for all children, regardless of their citizenship or residency status. Children begin attending primary school at the age of four. Public education is managed by the cantons. The canton to which the child belongs determines when the child can start attending school and whether preliminary preparatory/language classes are required. Therefore, children may need to wait until they can attend regular school classes.

The Swiss education system is divided into three levels and essentially offers students a choice of two ideal pathways. One, like in many other countries, is based on school education. The other focuses on practical training and leads directly to professional qualifications.

The education system is divided into three levels: primary, secondary, and tertiary education. Compulsory schooling includes primary education and the first part of secondary education. Compulsory schooling usually ends at the age of 15.

The second part of secondary education, known as Stage II of general secondary education, includes initial vocational education or general education schools. Initial vocational education is based on the so-called dual system, i.e., training at a vocational school training center and at a training enterprise. Two-thirds of young people choose this path, known in Switzerland as "apprenticeship training." Another third opts for education in a grammar school or specialized secondary school, thus preparing for admission to a higher education institution.

Higher vocational education and universities form the tertiary level of education in Switzerland. Higher vocational education prepares students directly for a profession and also offers educational courses for qualified specialists seeking further education or specialization in their field. Specialized universities, pedagogical and federal polytechnic universities, and colleges offer a wide range of different courses.

Education in Switzerland falls under the jurisdiction of the cantonal governments, which harmonized their school systems in 2009 as part of the educational concordat. Despite such harmonization between the education systems of individual cantons, there are significant differences. The Swiss Confederation and municipalities take on tasks that cannot be effectively solved by the cantons. Thus, the education system reflects Switzerland's federal state structure.