Preschool and Elementary Education
Elementary education consists of six years of schooling divided into three cycles of two years each. Schooling begins at the age of 6, and is mandatory up to the age of 16. However, most children attend an optional year of full-time kindergarten; some children with handicaps or from low-income families can attend part-time kindergarten at the age of 4. Elementary education focuses on the basic subjects and promotes the general development of the child. Its goal is to foster the progressive development of independence and to prepare students for secondary school. Public elementary and secondary schools fall under the jurisdiction of school boards managed by elected school commissioners.