The Kuwait K-12 Education System

The Ministry of Education, Kuwait administers both public and private schools in Kuwait.  The public schools in Kuwait are free of charge for Kuwait children, while the private schools do charge a fee. The state education in Kuwait is free for all educational levels. Private education in Kuwait is subsidised. At public schools, Arabic is the language of instruction. English is used as a second language.

The K-12 education system of Kuwait comprises of:

Pre-school education- Kindergarten or nursery: It lasts for 2 years

Basic Education
The basic education is split up into:
  • Primary/elementary education: It lasts for 5 years
  • Intermediate education: It lasts for 4 years
  • Secondary education- The secondary schools studies lasts for 3 years

Compulsory Education

The primary and intermediate level education in Kuwait is compulsory for all the children aged 6 to 14.

K-12 Education System: Detailed

Pre-school Education

The pre-school education in Kuwait is optional and provided by kindergarten or nursery schools. This level of education is free to Kuwaiti nationals. The pre-schools aim to develop the child’s capacity to interact and communicate, and encourage them to explore their environment,  gain a sense of self and build confidence. 
  • Ages: 4-6 
  • Duration: 2 years

Basic Education

The basic education in Kuwait encompasses elementary, intermediate and secondary education.  Students who complete their basic education are eligible for higher education. 

Primary/Elementary Education

The primary education in Kuwait is compulsory. This level provides basic knowledge in arithmetic, reading and writing. 
  • Duration: 5 years
  • Ages: 6-11
  • Grades: 1-5
Curriculum: Islamic education, Arabic language, science, English language, mathematics, music, physical education, fine arts, and social studies

Intermediate Education

The intermediate educational level in Kuwait is compulsory.  Students who complete this level are eligible for secondary education. This level provides pupils with opportunities to acquire technical know-how and develops student’s ability to think in order to build up and broaden their creativity. 
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Ages: 11-15
  • Grades: 6 to 10
Curriculum: Arabic language, basic science, English, mathematics, computer studies, Islamic studies, practical studies, and social studies

Certificate awarded: Intermediate school certificate

Secondary Education

This level develops students’ knowledge and skills, and prepares them for higher education as well as practical life. 
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Ages: 15-18
  • Grades: 11-12
Curriculum: Islamic education, Arabic, English, mathematics; social studies- history, geography, economics, philosophy, psychology, and sociology; integrated science- physics, biology, geology, chemistry and scientific knowledge; fine arts or practical studies, physical education, computer studies, and home economics. 

Certificate awarded: Secondary school leaving certificate (Shahadat Al-Thanawiya-Al-A'ama)

Academic Year

The academic year in Kuwait commences from late August or early September and ends in mid-June. 
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