Education in Croatia
Children as young as one year old can be enrolled in the kindergartens though this is not compulsory. Most of the 450 kindergartens are state run and integrated with primary schools and some are privately run. The elementary education is compulsory and will last up to eight years; children between six to seven years of age are eligible for enrolment. Since primary education became compulsory the literacy rate rose substantially and a large majority of the children finished their primary education. The public primary schools are under the control of city or municipal local governments and there are currently over 900 primary schools in the republic.
Unlike the primary education, taking up secondary education is optional though it is currently being advocated to make it also compulsory. There are two kinds of secondary schools which the children can choose from. The first is the gymnasium which offers four different tracks which includes the prirodoslovno-matematička gimnazija which focuses on informatics, math and science, jezična gimnazija where students can learn foreign languages, klasična gimnazija which offers mainly studies Ancient Greek and Latin classics and opća gimnazija which offers general education. The second are the vocational schools which take three years to complete compared to gymnasiums which requires four. As of the present there are around 300 vocational schools and 90 gymnasiums under the control of the regional government or counties.
Secondary education graduates can further pursue their studies in polytechnic schools or universities. There are at least twelve public and two private polytechnic schools in the country with each major city having at least one university.