The school system has three stages: 6 years compulsory primary school, 3 years preparatory secondary school and 3 years actual secondary school. All school education is free. Almost as many girls as boys attend primary and secondary school. Most children and young people complete school education up to the upper secondary level and 98% of young people under 25 are literate. Investments have been made to equalize educational level differences between cities and countryside, as well as to raise the educational level of the adult population. The rapidly increasing demand for education has led to many students on government grants studying abroad. At the same time, the teacher shortage has led to a significant import of teachers.
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Sultan Qabu University was founded in 1985 with five faculties: medicine, technology, science, agriculture as well as teacher education and Islamic science. In the 2007/08 academic year, 14,700 students were enrolled. In addition, there are a number of state and private higher education institutions. Women today constitute a majority of the students in higher education in Oman.
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