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Primary education (ISCED 1) usually begins at ages five, six or seven and lasts for four to six years (the mode of the OECD countries being six years). Programmes at the primary level generally require no previous formal education, although it is becoming increasingly common for children to have attended a pre-primary programme before entering primary education.

The boundary between pre-primary and primary education is typically the beginning of systematic studies characteristic of primary education, e.g., reading, writing and mathematics. It is common, however, for children to begin learning basic literacy and numeracy skills at the pre-primary level.

Source Publication:
Education at a Glance, OECD, Paris, 2002, Glossary.

Cross References:
International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED).

Statistical Theme: Education and training statistics

Created on Thursday, January 30, 2003

Last updated on Tuesday, March 11, 2003