After completion of the first cycle of education, the final 2 years of compulsory education (14 - 16 years of age) can be undertaken at a State upper secondary school.
The education system is organised as follows:
- pre-primary school (scuola dell’infanzia) for children between 3 - 6 years of age
- first cycle of education lasting 8 years, made up of:
- primary education (scuola primaria), for 6 - 11 years of age;
- lower secondary school (scuola secondaria di I grado), for 11 - 14 years of age;
- second cycle of education (scuola secondaria di II grado), for students from 14 to 19 years of age.
At the end of the upper secondary school cycle, students study for the upper secondary school diploma ( diploma di maturità), which automatically qualifies them for enrolment at a university. It consists of three written exams ( esame) plus an oral test ( colloquio).
The full title of the diploma depends on the kind of school students have attended, e.g. diploma di maturità classica for students who have attended a classics school and a diploma di maturità scientifica for students who have attended a science school.
How does a student achieve the Shahadat Al-Thanawiya Al-Amma
The following conditions for equivalency applies:
- Students must pass the UAE Ministry of Education Arabic Studies exam in Grade 12. This can be taken as either Native Arabic Studies (for students of ArabNationality as shown on their passport) or as Non-Native Arabic Studies (for students of non-Arab Nationality as shown on their passport).
- Students must pass the UAE Ministry of Education Islamic Studies exam which is only applicable to Muslim students in Grade 12. This can be taken as either Native Islamic Studies (for students of Arab Nationality as shown on their passport) or as Non-Native Islamic Studies (for students of non-Arab Nationality as shown on their passport).
- The school has to apply the curriculum applied in their country of origin.
- The school has to synchronize their test schedules & timings with those of their native country.
- Certificates carrying the name of the school have to be issued by the Education Board or Ministry of Education of their native country.