Education in Nepal is structured as school education and higher education. School education includes primary level of grades 1-5, lower secondary and secondary levels of grades 6-8 and 9-10 respectively. Pre-primary level of education is also available in certain areas. Six years of age is the prescribed age for admission into grade one. A national level School Leaving Certificate (SLC) Examination is conducted at the end of grade ten. Grades 11 and 12 are considered as higher secondary level. Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) supervises higher secondary schools which are mostly under private management. Previously these grades were under the university system and were run as proficiency certificate level. Though some universities still offer these programs, the policy now is to integrate these grades into the school system.
Higher education consists of bachelor, masters and PhD levels. Depending upon the stream and subject, bachelor’s level may be of three to five years’ duration. The duration of master’s level is generally of two years. Some universities also offer programs like M Phil and post-graduate diploma.
Legally, there are two types of school in the country: community and institutional. Community schools receive regular government grant whereas institutional schools are funded by school’s own or other non-governmental sources. Institutional schools are organized either as a non-profit trust or as a company. However, in practical terms, schools are mainly of two types: public (community) and private (institutional). A third type of school is the schools run by the local people enthusiastic towards having a school in their localities. They do not receive regular government grants and most of them do not have any other sustainable financial source. Supported and managed by the local people, they can be thus identified as the real community schools.
Except one, all universities/academies are publicly managed and are supported by public source fund. However, public universities also provide affiliation to private colleges. Two academies of higher education are single college institutes whereas other universities have constituent and affiliated colleges across the country.