Preprimary & Primary Education
Kindergarten attendance in Azerbaijan during the 1990s had declined due to the economic and political problems the country was experiencing. In 1990 about 19 percent of children between the ages of 3 and 6 were enrolled in kindergarten, but in 1997 only 13 percent of this age group was enrolled (19.1 percent in cities and 7.1 percent in villages). In the 2000-2001 school year 1,854 preschools—1,659 of them operated by the Ministry of Education and the other 195 operated by other Ministries and organizations—educated 116,100 young children with 101,700 of the children attending Ministry of Education preschools. The preschoolers were taught by 16.1 thousand educational staff, three-quarters of whom were mid-level or higher professionals. Primary education and compulsory schooling in Azerbaijan begins at age six, and the primary grades (grades one through four, as noted above) represent the first of three stages of required general education.
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