The primary school in Bahrain consists of primary school, secondary school and secondary school. The primary school is 6 years old, the secondary school 3 years old and the secondary school 3 years old.
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There are five different directions in high school; some of the vocational education programs are for boys only. Over 40% of the population of Bahrain is under 15 years of age. It is a challenge for the education system, and the country gives high priority to education. In the 1990s, 13-14% of the national budget was spent on education.
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The state school is free for all, but is not compulsory. 90 percent of children attend primary school and approx. 70% in high school. In school, girls and boys go separate. The teaching takes place in Arabic. In addition, there are private schools, both national and foreign, where approx. 15% of students go.
Higher education institutions include The College of Health Sciences, The Gulf University and The University of Bahrain.
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In 2000, illiteracy was estimated to be approx. 12% of the population over 15 years.