The education system in Buenos Aires is divided into three levels: Initial (i.e. pre-Kindergarten, ages 2-5), Primary (ages 6-13, seven years) and Secondary (ages 13-18; five years). Education in Argentina is compulsory for children beginning at 6 years of age; the Initial level of schooling chiefly concentrates on play-based activities to allow children to engage and cooperate socially.
The Ministry of Education oversees and regulates the laws by which all schools operate. Public school funding comes from both federal and local government to ensure a fair distribution of funds throughout the country. Historically, however, the bulk of federal funding has gone to Buenos Aires. Annual standardized tests are administered nationwide to measure school performance. Spanish is the official language in which classes are conducted. The teaching of English as a foreign language is obligatory. Class sizes vary from one school to the next, but overcrowding in classrooms is not a major problem. Public school enrollment, on the other hand, is high due to the limitations of the facilities. As a result, the school day is broken down into several blocks of attendance, a morning shift and an afternoon shift being the most common arrangement. Private bilingual schools conduct their morning classes in Spanish and afternoon classes in English, and foreign language classes in French, Portuguese and Italian are also widespread.
Admissions for public schools are not complicated; a child will need a DNI and a certificate of residence to enroll. Private schools will each have their own admission processes, and bilingual and international schools are well prepared to assist you when enrolling your child.