In Russia children begin going to school at the age of seven. First they study at the elementary school. It lasts three or four years. At the elementary school children get the elementary education, they learn to read, write and count.
From the fifth form the secondary education begins. Children begin learning different subjects, such as Literature, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Computing, Foreign Languages and soon. The nine-year secondary education is compulsory in our country, but after completing the nine-year schooling pupils face the first serious decision in their lives. They have to decide either to continue their studies in the tenth and eleventh forms at a general secondary school, or to transfer to specialised colleges, that is to say, choose a particular career. Colleges give young people a secondary education plus trade training. This means that after finishing a college they are both educated and financially independent, able to go straight to a job.
Except general secondary schools there are a lot of specialised schools, where more attention is paid to a particular subject, mostly to a foreign language. Besides, there are many private schools now, where the education is not free of charge.
After finishing school or college young people may enter institute or university to get the higher education. After finishing the fourth course they get the bachelor's degree and after graduating from the higher educational establishment - the master's degree. To study is not an easy thing, of course, but nowadays it is quite necessary to be highly skilled and educated specialist.