The current program begins with 5 years of primary school, with pre-primary preparation available only in a few areas. At the end of this period, a standard school leaving certificate examination is prescribed.
Three years of lower secondary grade education follow. Students also have the option of moving on to a technical school instead, and obtaining a training level certificate.
Secondary education takes place in 2 stages. Grades 9 to 10 follow a common academic curriculum leading to a school leaving certificate. During grades 11 to 12 though, there are opportunities to follow separate streams in commerce, education, humanities or science, and to receive a higher education certificate.
The council for technical education and vocational training oversees vocational training throughout Nepal through policy formulation, competency-based curricula and quality control.
With one exception, all universities in Nepal are publicly managed, and publicly funded - although some state-controlled ones are also affiliated to private colleges.
The oldest of these, Tribhuvan University was established in Kirtipur, Kathmandu in 1959. It offers over 1,000 undergraduate courses and its student body, at almost 300,000, is rated the 19th largest in the world. There are 65 integral colleges, and over 200 affiliated ones.