Sri Lanka's educational system consists of five rungs: primary, junior secondary, senior secondary, collegiate and tertiary. It is compulsory to complete 9 years of learning. One has the option of dropping out to apprentice somewhere, learn a skill and start working. However, the government encourages completion of senior secondary or the General Certificate of Education (G.C.E) Ordinary Level, which is grade 11.
Those who wish to study further have to complete two more years and appear for the GCE Advanced level exam. This certificate is essential for applying for university education.
Besides government-run schools, there are private and international schools. The private schools are mostly run by the missionaries and are not as costly as the international schools which offer certification for the Edexcel General Certificate GCE, the Advanced Subsidiary AS, or Advanced A2 Level Examination. They also have the option of working towards an IB diploma. However, there can be marked differences in the quality and standards of education in these schools.
Every school allows prospective parents to visit and learn more about culture, fee structure, and instruction.