Educational structure

There is some pre-primary education for children aged 4 to 6 years but provision is patchy. Primary school education has two cycles from age 7 to 10 years (grades 1 to 4) and from age 11 to 14 years (grades 5 to 8). Regional exams are taken at the end of grade 8 (Primary school certificate exam). Secondary education has two cycles from age 15 to 16 years (grades 9 and 10) and from age 17 to 18 years (grades 11 to 12) leading up to the national exams. The Ethiopian General Secondary Education Certificate Examination (EGSECE) is taken at the end of grade 10 and requires a pass in at least 5 subjects to pass to the next level. The Ethiopian Higher Education Entrance Examination (EHEEE) is taken at the end of grade 12. Students passing the EHEEE are eligible for university if their grades are sufficiently high.

Alternative basic education (ABE) provides flexible, community based first cycle primary schooling for out of school children.

Students leaving at the end of grade 10 can go to technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions or colleges of teacher training (CTT). TVETs provide an alternative route to university. Universities offer 3, 4, and 5 year programs for bachelor's degrees, doctor of medicine and doctor of veterinary medicine. Students who have a bachelor's degree may take a specialized post graduate program for a master's degree or Ph.D.
Adult and non-formal education provides primary education to adults over age 14 years and is run by both government and non-government organizations.