Snapshot of Tunisian Education System

The Ministry of Education administers the education system in Tunisia. Education in Tunisia is compulsory for 9 years. 

Snapshot of Tunisian Education System

Preschool/Pre-primary Education

The preschool education in Tunisia is optional, and is offered in following setting:
  • Nurseries: These are for children up to 3 years old
  • Kindergartens: These cater to children aged 3 to 6 years
  • Kouttabs: These are religious educational institutions for children aged 3 to 6 years, and focus on learning the Quran. 
  • Preparatory year: This year is optional and is offered in public, private and semi-public primary schools. 

Basic Education (Enseignement de base)

Basic education in Tunisia is mandatory to attend for all children aged 6 to 15. This educational level is split up into two stages:
  • Primary education
  • Lower secondary/preparatory education

Primary Education

This stage of basic education last for 6 years and covers grades 1 to 6. At the end of grade 6, examinations are held. Pupils must get an average of 50 percent or above in order to move to the next stage of basic education, i.e. lower education. 

Curriculum: French, mathematics, civics, art, Arabic, history, science, physical education, Islamic studies, geography, music, and technical education.

Lower Secondary Education/Preparatory Education

This stage of basic education last for 3 years and covers grades 7 to 9. Students who have successfully completed primary education are eligible for lower secondary education.

Curriculum: Natural sciences, French, mathematics, English, civics, art, Arabic, history, science, physical education, Islamic studies, geography, music, and technical education.

Examination: Pupils must undertake a national examination at the end of basic education studies (examen national de fin d’etudes de l’enseignement de base). Those who pass the exam are awarded a “Diploma of completion of basic education (Diplome de Fin d’Etudes de l’Enseignement de Base). 

Language of Instruction: All subjects at the basic education level are taught in Arabic. French is taught in grade 3 and English is taught in grade 8. 

Secondary Education (l'enseignement secondaire)

The upper secondary education in Tunisia is not compulsory and last for 4 years. Students who hold the Diplome de Fin d’Etudes de l’Enseignement de Base or its equivalent are eligible for upper secondary education in Tunisia. 

This educational level prepares students for university-level studies or for employment. Upper secondary education is split up into two levels of 2 years each-
  • General academic education
  • Specialized education
The first 2 years of general academic education have a common curriculum. After completion of the academic stream, pupils have to choose 1 of 5 specializations- arts and language, experimental sciences, mathematics, management and economics, and technological and technical sciences.

Language of instruction: The scientific, mathematical and technical fields are taught in French; with the exception of foreign languages that are taught in Arabic.

Examination: At the end of 4-year secondary education, students must appear for the baccalaureate exam, or the Examen National du Baccalaureat. This is a school leaving examination and required to entry into university-level studies in Tunisia.  

Tertiary Education

Tertiary education is under the supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR). Tertiary education is offered by the universities, and higher institutes/schools. Universities in Tunisia offer a wide range of courses at following levels: bachelor, master and doctoral. 

The admission requirements for tertiary education in Tunisia vary depending on the level of study, programme and type of higher education institution.
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