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Education in Poland. So a little bit about history , kinds of schools and grades. Table of contents. Admission First, some history … Preparing for „school life” Primary school Lower secondary school (gimnazjum) Alternatives after „gimnazjum”

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Education in poland

Education in Poland

So a little bit abouthistory, kinds of schools and grades

Table of contents
Table of contents

  • Admission

  • First, somehistory…

  • Preparing for „school life”

  • Primaryschool

  • Lower secondary school (gimnazjum)

  • Alternatives after „gimnazjum”

  • Matura (high school leavingexam)

  • Upper education

  • The most popular Universitiesin Poland

  • Grading

  • Foreign languages

  • Summary


Education system in Poland was oftenchangedinthe past. Nowisfull of possibilities on almostevery step. Schoolingin Poland usuallytakesabout 18 years (includingstudies), but insomecasestakesonly 14 yearsor, ifsomeonewantsto have a high degree, much longer.

First some history
First, somehistory…

The education of Polish society was a goal of rulers as early as the 12th century, and Poland soon became one of the most educated countries in Europe. The library catalogue of the Cathedral Chapter of Kraków dating back to 1110 shows that in the early 12th century Polish intellectuals had access to European literature. The Jagiellonian University, founded in 1364 by King Casimir III in Kraków, is one of Europe's oldest universities.

The Polish education system was reformed in 1999. Primary school was shortened from eight to six years, and high school was changed from a four-year liceum into a three-yeargimnazjum and a three-year liceum.

Preparing for school life
Preparing for „school life”

Żłobek (nursery) – place for childrenagedfrom 6 weeks to about 3 years, whose parents or guardians work outside home. The nursery children have food, constant care and participate in extra-curricular activities (e.g. swimming, foreign languages​​).

Przedszkole (Kindergarten) – place for childrenagedfrom 3 years to thebeginning of primary school. The purpose of kindergartenispreparingkids for school duties and providingphysical, mental, emotional and social development.

Primary school
Primary school

First step of officialeducation. Primary school in Poland iscompulsory. A child can go to primary school at 6 or 7 years.Learning in this school lasts 6 years. This is an introduction to further study on a much more difficult schoollevel. During the first 3 years the child learns to write, read and also the foundations of mathematics, then takes to develop language skills and mathematics.

Lower secondary school gimnazjum
Lower secondaryschool (gimnazjum)

At the end of 6th class when the students are 13, they take a compulsory exam that will determine to which lower secondary school (gimnazjum, pronounced gheem-nah-sium) (Middle School/Junior High) they will be accepted. They will attend this school for three years for classes 7, 8, and 9.

Ourschool – Gimnazjum nr 3 w Tarnobrzegu

Alternatives after gimnazjum
Alternatives after „gimnazjum”

Secondary education is provided in 3-year general lyceums or in vocational secondary schools such as the 3-year liceumprofilowane (specialized lyceum) and 4-year technikum (secondary technical school). In addition, there are 2-3-year basic vocational schools whose graduates obtain the Certificate of Completion of Education in the Basic Vocational School. The only type of post-primary school that does not give access to higher education is the basic vocational school.The graduates of these schools may continue their education in different types of complementary secondary schools: complementary lyceumor complementary technical secondary school. Following completion of education in these schools they can pass the maturity examination and obtain a Maturity Certificate and thus become eligible for entrance to higher education

Matura high school leaving exam
Matura (high school leavingexam)

In the Polish education system, the exam is officially called egzaminmaturalny, but it is commonly known as matura. It is taken on completion of high school, in May (with additional dates in June, and retakes available in August). The exam is not compulsory, although Polish students must pass it in order to be able to apply for higher education courses in Poland and elsewhere.

Every student taking the matura takes three compulsory exams at "basic level" (poziompodstawowy) in:

  • Polish language (including knowledge of Polish and European literature)

  • A selected modern language (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Russian)

  • Mathematics

Upper education
Upper education

Aftera maturity examination people may followseveral forms of upper education, leading to licencjat(the Polish Bologna Process first cycle qualification – 3,5 years), magister (the Polish Bologna Process second cycle qualification – 5 years) and eventually doktor (the Polish Bologna Process third cycle qualification)

The most popular u niversities in poland
The most popular universitiesin Poland


AGH University of Science and TechnologyinKrakow

The Warsaw University of Technology


In the early 1990s the system was extended by introducing new grades, 1 and 6.

1 (niedostateczny, insufficient)

2 (initially mierny, poor, later renamed dopuszczający, passing)

3 (dostateczny, sufficient)

4 (dobry, good)

5 (bardzodobry, very good)

6 (celujący, excellent)

In the new system, 1 is the failing grade, 2 to 5 are normal passing grades, and 6 means that the student exceeded the expectations. The system is used like the old one. Adding minuses to a 6 is extremely uncommon. The performance that is better than 5 but does not deserve a 6 is usually graded 5+.

So the full scale is:

1, (1+ is rare)

(2=), 2-, 2, 2+

(3=), 3-, 3, 3+

(4=), 4-, 4, 4+

(5=), 5-, 5, 5+

6 (6- is rare too)

Foreign languages
Foreign languages

Students in Polish schools typically learn one or two foreign languages at schools. Generally, in 2005/06 the most popular obligatory foreign languages in Polish schools were:

English – 67.9%

German – 33.3%

French – 13.3%

Spanish – 10.2%

Russian – 6.1%

Italian – 4.3%

Latin – 0.6%

Others – 0.1%

In 2005/06 there were 49,200 students in schools for national minorities, most of them in German, Kashubian, Ukrainian and Belarusian .

Due to the education reform students of Polish lower secondary schools must learn two different foreign languages. The main language (usually English) is taught 3 times a week and it's the language that students must write the egzamingimnazjalny in. The second foreign language is taught twicea week and it's additional. The reform introduces two different levels of the exam – the higher lever (if a student has been learning the same language as the main one at primary school) and the standard level (if a student has started learning the main language at lower secondary school). The result of the exam is held to account when a student applies to the upper secondary level school.

Thank you for your attention


Music: Pink Floyd „We don’tneed no education”