secondary education

secondary education
   Between 1970 and the enactment of the LOGSE in 1990, the school system consisted of the stages EGB, BUP, COU and FP. The full implementation of the LOGSE, planned for 1999, envisages a stage of Compulsory Secondary Education (Education Secundaria Obligatoria—ESO), from age 12 to age 16, and a further optional stage from 16 to 18, which leads either to the more academic school-leaving examination, the baccalaureate (Bachillerato), or to the foundation stage of the vocational qualification, FP.
   ESO, which is designed as a system of free comprehensive education, is intended to address the educational needs of pupils of different levels of ability and motivation, and diverse interests. It is divided into two stages, from age 12 to age 14, and from 14 to 16, and is structured around a common core curriculum, with an increasing element of choice as pupils advance through the system. More flexible than the system it replaces, it permits pupils to follow different paths in developing the same basic abilities. Completion of ESO qualifies the pupil for the award of the title Graduate in Secondary Education (Graduado en Education Secundaria). The phasing-in of ESO also involves the improvement of school administration and facilities, reduction of class sizes to thirty, better equipment, and the provision of teams, consisting of a psychologist and three teachers, to help pupils with learning difficulties.
   The new baccalaureate course lasts two years, from age 16 to age 18. Its purpose, in addition to enhancing pupils" general education, is to prepare them for university or other forms of higher education. Entry to the post-16 cycle is conditional on the award of the title of Graduado en Education Secundaria, or completion of the second stage of BUP. There are four strands: natural and health sciences, technology, arts, and humanities and social sciences. The core syllabus accounts for 40 percent of the marks, more specialist options within each strand for a further 40 percent, and options reflecting the student's individual interests for a further 20. Successful completion of this course leads to the award of the baccalaureate (which carries the title Bachiller), which qualifies either for entry to university, subject to passing an entrance examination, called Selectividad, or to the advanced level of FP, advanced study of the arts, or the world of work.
   The new version of FP also consists of two cycles, intermediate and advanced, both of which qualify for entry to employment. Entry to the first cycle, which lasts for two years, is conditional on completion of ESO. Successful completion of this first cycle qualifies for the award of the grade of Auxiliary Technician (Técnico Auxiliar). The second cycle, which lasts for three years, leads to the award of the grade of Specialist Technician (Técnico Especialista), which qualifies the recipient to enter either employment or higher education.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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