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San Marino

Official Country Name: Republic of San Marino
Region: Europe
Population: 26,937
Language(s): Italian
Literacy Rate: 96%

The smallest republic in the world, San Marino was founded in 350 A.D. According to the 1997 Information Please Almanac, St. Marinus and a group of Christians first settled it. The San Marino constitution provides for a parliamentary form of government; the Parliament has 60 members and has legislative and administrative powers.

Compulsory education in San Marino begins at the age of 6 and continues until the age of 14. It consists of five years of primary education and three years of lower secondary education, which can be taken through a state or non-state school or through home schooling (European Education 1999).

San Marinese preschools accept all children between the ages of three and six. Attendance is free. Primary school attendance is compulsory for children ages 6 to 11. Students are given yearly, state-required final exams to determine whether or not they may continue onto the next level (European Education 1999).

Lower secondary education is compulsory for children between the ages of 11 and 14. After completing lower secondary education, students may leave school or continue for another three years in upper secondary education after which they can go onto higher education. Higher education is offered at San Marino's one major university, L'Universita di San Marino. It offers four different types of degrees (European Education 1999). San Marino also offers several types of nonformal education such as classical, scientific, artistic, technical, and vocational schools and adult education programs.

The Ministry of Education has the responsibility of supervising all educational institutions. The Ministry also plans and promotes educational research. The schools are funded by the state, and money is distributed to schools depending on their needs.

Teachers in San Marino attend teacher training schools, and they must take general culture and psychology classes. Specialization classes can be taken after graduation (Eurydice 1997).

Education is very important in San Marino. In the future, their educational programs will continue to change based on changes in society.


The 1997 Information Please Almanac. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997.

European Education Profile. The British Council, 2000. Available from http://www.britishcouncil.sm.education/.

The Eurydice Database San Marino, 2001. Available from http://www.psy.it/ordpsic/psy_e_u.html.

—Deanna Edens

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