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Formal education of individuals before their first entrance to the labour market, i.e. when they will normally be in full-time education. It thus targets individuals who are regarded as children, youth and young adults by their society. It typically takes place in educational institutions in a system designed as a continuous educational pathway.
Access resource, available in EnglishAs national education systems vary in terms of structure and curricular content, it can be difficult to benchmark performance across countries over time or monitor progress towards national and international goals. In order to understand and properly interpret the inputs, processes and outcomes of education systems from a global perspective, it is vital to ensure that data are comparable. This can be done by applying the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), the standard framework used to categorise and report cross-nationally comparable education statistics.
Education that is institutionalized, intentional and planned through public organizations and recognized private bodies and, in their totality, make up the formal education system of a country. Formal education programmes are thus recognized as such by the relevant national educational authorities or equivalent, e.g. any other institution in co-operation with the national or sub-national educational authorities. Formal education consists mostly of initial education. Vocational education, special needs education and some parts of adult education are often recognized as being part of the formal education system.
Access resource, available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, ChineseThe UIS Glossary includes statistical terms related to education, science, technology and innovation, culture, and communication & information . Some of the entries contain translations in one or more of the following languages: Arabic, English, French and Spanish. Other entries provide more detailed information, such as definitions, calculation formulas for indicators and sources. Indicators are marked with an asterisk (*). This is a dynamic tool, which is regularly updated by the UIS.
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