Under Soviet rule, Belarus had a very high literacy rate, but most education was in the Russian language. In 1990, Belarusian was reinstated as the official language, and it is again being used as the language of instruction in schools. As well as Russian and Belarusian, many children also learn English, German or French.

 The costs of education, including texts, are paid for by the state. Pre-school education is subsidized and about 60% of children attend. Education is compulsory from the ages of 6 to 16. At the end of grades 9 and 11, students must take an examination in order to continue with their education.

At age 15, students can continue with general studies or transfer to a vocational or specialist school. Specialist schools are devoted to music, foreign languages, mathematics, science or sports. Vocational schools train teachers, machinists and computer technicians.

 There are 33 postsecondary institutions in Belarus, including the Belarusian State University, Homel State University, Hrodna State University, the Belarusian Agricultural Academy and the Belarusian Academy of Sciences. After university, many Belarusians go on to do postgraduate work and advanced training.

  Did you know?
Belarus has long been known as a centre of advanced science and engineering. An early Soviet cosmonaut, Piotr Klimuk, was from Belarus.
Aoung people between 18 and 27 must serve two years in the Belarusian army unless they are enrolled in university. If they graduate from university before the age of 27, they must still complete their two years.
  Did you know?
Belarus takes sports training very seriously. There are 482 schools that provide intensive training in sports throughout the country. Of these, about 120 are dedicated to Olympic sports. There are also eight colleges dedicated to Olympic sports.