No tests have been required to enter middle schools since 1969. Students interested in entering middle school are placed in the school closest to where they live and are expected to complete the middle school in three years. Since 2002, free compulsory middle school education has been enforced, and from 2004, all middle school students have been receiving free compulsory education.
The purpose of middle school education is to develop the basic competencies and sensibilities necessary for daily life in a democratic society based on the elementary education they had received. The curriculum focuses on 10 national common basic subjects and developing the diverse talents and aptitudes of students through school activities and special activities.
High schools recruit freshmen based on the school reports and academics records of the middle school years. High school students are to complete high school in three years. Students must pay tuition, but financial assistance and various scholarships are available for students in the low-income bracket. The purpose of high school education is to foster the ability to pave career paths fit for their talents and aptitudes based on their performance in middle school and to develop the essential skills needed to function as citizens of a democratic society.
During the first year, national common basic subjects are completed, and in the second and third years, general high school students will select and study curriculums and subjects according to their future goals, while vocational high school students will study vocational curriculums. We have various types of schools and curriculums so that students can select their future paths according to their personal needs, aptitudes and abilities.
In addition, we established schools that specialize in foreign-languages, science, the arts and physical education to develop talents in different areas, and maximally develop the potential of naturally gifted students.