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Mario Laserna building of the University of Los Andes
M5 building at Faculty of Minas, designed by Pedro Nel Gómez

The educational experience of many Colombian children begins with attendance at a preschool academy until age five (Educación preescolar). Basic education (Educación básica) is compulsory by law.<ref>Colombian Constitution of 1991 (Title II – Concerning rights, guarantees, and duties – Chapter 2 – Concerning social, economic and cultural rights – Article 67)</ref> It has two stages: Primary basic education (Educación básica primaria) which goes from first to fifth grade – children from six to ten years old, and Secondary basic education (Educación básica secundaria), which goes from sixth to ninth grade. Basic education is followed by Middle vocational education (Educación media vocacional) that comprises the tenth and eleventh grades. It may have different vocational training modalities or specialties (academic, technical, business, and so on.) according to the curriculum adopted by each school.

After the successful completion of all the basic and middle education years, a high-school diploma is awarded. The high-school graduate is known as a bachiller, because secondary basic school and middle education are traditionally considered together as a unit called bachillerato (sixth to eleventh grade). Students in their final year of middle education take the ICFES test (now renamed Saber 11) in order to gain access to higher education (Educación superior). This higher education includes undergraduate professional studies, technical, technological and intermediate professional education, and post-graduate studies. Technical professional institutions of Higher Education are also opened to students holder of a qualification in Arts and Business. This qualification is usually awarded by the SENA after a two years curriculum.<ref>Vocational Education in Colombia, UNESCO-UNEVOC</ref>

Bachilleres (high-school graduates) may enter into a professional undergraduate career program offered by a university; these programs last up to five years (or less for technical, technological and intermediate professional education, and post-graduate studies), even as much to six to seven years for some careers, such as medicine. In Colombia, there is not an institution such as college; students go directly into a career program at a university or any other educational institution to obtain a professional, technical or technological title. Once graduated from the university, people are granted a (professional, technical or technological) diploma and licensed (if required) to practice the career they have chosen. For some professional career programs, students are required to take the Saber-Pro test, in their final year of undergraduate academic education.<ref name="sistema educativo">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Public spending on education as a proportion of gross domestic product in 2013 was 4.9%. This represented 16.9% of total government expenditure. The primary and secondary gross enrolment ratios stood at 114.9% and 93% respectively. School-life expectancy was 13.5 years. A total of 93.6% of the population aged 15 and older were recorded as literate, including 98.2% of those aged 15–24.<ref name="UNESCO">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>


Colombia sections
Intro   Etymology    History    Geography    Government and politics    Economy    Demographics    Culture   Health   Education    See also    Notes    References    External links   

Education
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