Here is the organisation of the education system in Geneva:
|| from 4 to 6 years old
2 years (1Enfantine, 2E)
|from 6 to 12
6 years (1Primaire, 2P, 3P, 4P, 5P, 6P)
||from 12 to 15
3 years (7e, 8e, 9e)
|from 15 to 19
4 years (10e, 11e, 12e, 13e)
Collège (High School)
General education schools
Maturité (baccalaureat equivalent)
Hautes Ecoles Spécialisées (HES)
High Professional schools
Education is mandatory in Geneva from 6 years old (1P class). However the Département
de l'instruction publique (DIP) encourages regsitration at school from 4
years old (1E).
happen during March or April. The valid age is the one on the 30th June
of the current year. If you have just moved in, you should receive a mail
for registering at your
Primary school is organised with two modules of 4 years:
- elementary section: from the 1st Enfantine
to the 2nd Primaire (in this cycle, the 2 first years of the Enfantine
school, 1E - 2E, are optional);
- middle section: from the 3rd Primaire to
the 6th Primaire.
Each year an evaluation is made to evaluate the progress of pupils and gives
comparison to assess the child's orientation. A notation slip is given to the
parents at the end of each period. The notation is made according to a progressive
scale of 1 to 6 (the sufficiant notation is 3.5).
At the end of the primary section, pupils enter the orientation cycle (cycle
d’orientation - CO). Parents are made aware directly of the registration
intercommunal pour l’animation parascolaire (GIAP) (school activity
organisation) is in charge of extra scolar activities and offer activities
for pupils out of the class hours (on the morning, at midday, in the evening
- breakfast, canteen, colation are provided). Mind
however that canteens are rare in nurseries and primary schools.
Those activities are paid by the parents through the GIAP (about
5 CHF). According to cases and after demand has been made on registration
time, reductions up to total fee exemption may be granted.
Orientation Cycle (Cycle d'Orientation - CO)
At the end of the 6th Primaire, pupils who go to the Cycle
d'Orientation register in one of the three groups of education:
- A ordinary number of pupils in the class (if annual
marks of the pass exams are at least equal to 4)
- B reduce number of pupils in the class (if 2 of
the annual pass marks are at least equal to 3.5 and one at least equal to
- C small number of pupils in the class (in other
cases of pupils granted)
- H colleges with levels and options (for all granted
The CO avoid an early and definitive selection. It is only after 3 years of
CO that the pupil will have to choose one of the type of studies offered by
the non-mandatory secondary education: College, General education school, or
professional training. The way chosen is not fixed and the pupil will have the
possibility to change section and reorientate according to his/her results and
the personal career aspirations of the pupil.
You will find the list
of education organisms on the Sate of Geneva website.
Non-mandatory secondary education
At the end of the orientation cycle (CO), pupils aged 15 or more may carry
on with their studies in non mandatory educational establishment.
It exists three paths:
- The "gymnasiale" path from the
of Geneva : it is the classical path that give strong fundamental knowledge
to the students and allows them to develop their open mind and critical capacities
The College of Geneva (there are actually 8 colleges in the canton and the
assignementis made according to the domicile) provides the certificat
de maturité, at the end of 4 years of studies, requested by universities.
- The professional path of écoles
de commerce (Business schools) and of
professional schools: with an internship/training in companies, full-time
schools or technical education for specific high-qualified training periods.
Students of professional schools can complete their degree with a General
education degree and technical theory that allows them to get a maturité
professionnelle (matu pro).
- The general education
(culture générale) path: gives global knowledge
on general matters and a specific knowledge in some areas, giving access to
the HES. There are two general education schools in Geneva: ECG Henry-Dunant
(right bank) and ECG Jean-Piaget (left bank).
Students of ECG may obtain a certificate of special
maturity after additional qualifications related to the domain studied.
After getting his/her Maturity, the student can choose one of the paths of
the higher education:
- University of Geneva : Group 7 faculties and two
- Hautes Ecoles Spécialisés (HES) :
HES education is focused on practical issues and available especially for
people with a professional maturity. They are part of the intercantonal
- Ecoles Professionnelles Supérieures (EPS)
: People trained in professional areas or at school get a Certificat
Fédéral de Capacité
(CFC) that allows them to go immediatly to the labour market and find
a job. It is also possible to follow a HES for additional training.
Be aware that the higher Swiss education is concerned by the European system
implementation (so called from Bologna) that suggest an architecture of education
with 3 sections: Licence-Master-Doctorat (PhD).
In order to know everything on private
schools in Geneva, go to the SFPS (Swiss Federation
of Private Schools) website: http://www.agep.ch