France is one of the best places in the world for education. Education is compulsory in France and school starts as early as 4 to 5 years of age. The education system in France has three levels: primary school (école), secondary school (collège) and high school (lycée).
Education in France is ruled by the Ministry of National Education. The Minister of National Education, one of the highest ranking officials in the French cabinet, heads it. Schools in France are mostly state schools, and only 20% are private schools in which most are Catholic schools. This clearly indicates that the public schools are non-sectarian and has no formal teaching when it comes to religion. In recent years, there is a growing demand for formal teaching in religion, the reason why there is also an increasing number of private schools. Both public and private schools follow the same curriculum in all levels of education.
Kindergarten or pre-school prepares young children to formal schooling, and it also trains young children to interact with each other. Pre-school activities include simple learning like identifying shapes, colors, letters, and numbers. Primary school comes next to pre-school, and it is in this level where the students are trained to read and write. This level has complete curriculum that includes math, science, and humanities, to name a few. Secondary education or college comes after the students have completed the primary education. This level provides students some degree of specialization, apart from the secondary curriculum which includes French, maths, history, geography, technical education, art, music, physical education, and one foreign language. The last three years of secondary education are the high school level, or the lycee. The main goal of the lycee is to prepare students for the baccalaureate exam which is the equivalent of British A levels.