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The education system in Norway
In Norway all children and young persons between 6 and 19 years have a statutory right to 13 years of education, including 10 years of compulsory education (grunnskole) and 3 years of upper secondary school (videregående skole). These 13 years are called “grunnopplæring”.
Organized education in Norway dates as far back as medieval times. Shortly after Norway became an archdiocese in 1153, cathedral schools were constructed to educate priests in Trondheim, Oslo, Bergen and Hamar.
After the reformation of Norway in 1537, (Norway entered a personal union with Denmark in 1536) the cathedral schools were turned into Latin schools, and it was made mandatory for all market towns to have such a school.
In 1736 training in reading was made compulsory for all children, but was not effective until some years later. In 1827, Norway introduced the folkeskole, a primary school which became mandatory for 7 years in 1889 and 9 years in 1969. In the 1970s and 1980s, the folkeskole was abolished, and the grunnskole was introduced.
The Norwegian school system can be divided into three parts: Elementary school (Barneskole, age 6-13), lower secondary school (Ungdomsskole, age 13-16), and upper secondary school (Videregående skole, age 16-19).
Elementary and lower secondary school are mandatory for all children aged 6–16. Before 1997, the mandatory education in Norway started at the age of 7. Students almost always have to change school when they enter lower secondary school and upper secondary school, as most schools only offer one of the levels.
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