Iran - Secondary Education
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Depending on their tested aptitudes and potential, at this point students may choose to pursue one of two possible courses of study: The theoretical branch, or the technical and vocational education (TVE) stream.
The theoretical branch is comprised of general academic disciplines such as mathematics, physics, empirical sciences, human sciences, and economics. Students in this curriculum must take 63 units of general study and an additional 36 units in one field of specialization. After completing this track, they take the national examinations and, if successful, are awarded the Diplom-Motevaseteh making them eligible for the pre-university course—a one year program designed to prepare them for university. Successfully completing pre-university study earns them the Pre-University Certificate and the right to take the Konkur, or National Entrance Examination. The vocational and technical branch (TVE), Kar-Denesh (knowledge-skill branch), and the integrated associate degree in the technical and vocational stream comprise the technical/vocational track of Iranian secondary education. The vocational and technical branch students take applied science courses designed to train them in the agricultural trades. Here they can earn a trade certificate. The Kar-Denesh track develops semiskilled and skilled workers, foremen, and supervisors who can earn second-degree skill certificates. The integrated associate degree is a five-year course following lower secondary education designed to develop highly skilled technicians. These students may also opt for the pre-university stream after three years in the program. In 1986, the Ministry of Education listed 30 fields of study in the TVE system and over 400 in the Kar-Denesh.
Teaching hours at this level range from 30 to 32 and curriculum varies significantly depending on the individual student's field of study or vocational path.