Back to School

Most children go back to school tomorrow, Tuesday. Since all schools have to be open for a required number of days, each school can choose when to start and finish for the year. Some schools will start later in the week.

Most primary schools finished the year in the week before Christmas. This gives the children, and teachers, six weeks holiday. The school year consists of four terms, usually ten weeks long, with a break of two weeks between the terms. This makes 40 weeks of school each year.

Universities are different. They start mid to late February, with two semesters during the year. Exams are at the end of each semester. The end of year exams are usually in October. This gives university students three or four months to earn money. Most students find a holiday job during that period.

This year, the new government has promised to pay course fees for first year tertiary students. This includes courses at polytechnics such as trades courses like carpentry. We have a shortage of workers in the construction industry. The government hopes this will encourage more young people to learn useful skills in trades.

For more about schools, listen to School starts this week and School costs.

Vocabulary

• tertiary – third level (primary is 1st level, secondary is 2nd level eg high school, tertiary follows after high school)
• polytechnics – teach vocational courses such as carpentry
• trades e.g. plumbers, electricians, house painters, builders, motor mechanics
• construction – building eg houses, offices, public buildings like libraries, law courts






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