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Yemen, Republic of


Al-Jumhūriyyah al-Yamaniyyah (The Yemen Arab Republic) is located in the Middle East and is bordered by Saudi Arabia, Oman, the Gulf of Aden, and the Arabian and Red Seas. The population is 23,013,376 and the literacy rate is 50.2%. Arabic is the national language and the language of instruction.

The area of present-day Yemen has some of the oldest civilizations in the world. By the 16th century, Yemen was a part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1839, the British established a colony in Aden in southern Yemen. In 1918, North Yemen was granted independence from the Ottoman Empire and became the Republic of North Yemen in 1962. In 1967, Britain withdrew from Aden and the area became known as South Yemen. On May 22, 1990, North and South Yemen united to become the Republic of Yemen.


Currently, education in Yemen is overseen by both the Ministry of Education as well as the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Primary and Secondary Education

Education is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 15, but attendance is not enforced. Basic school (primary school and lower secondary school) is 9 years beginning at age 6. At the end of the 9th year, students sit for the Intermediate School Certificate Examination.

Upper secondary school is 3 years. The first year is a common curriculum, and students select a literary or scientific track for the final 2 years. After the 3rd year, students sit for an external examination leading to the Al Thanawiya. Vocational/technical upper secondary school is also 3 years and leads to the Al Thanawiya.

Post-Secondary Education

Post-secondary programs are offered at public and private universities. However, less than 10 percent of students who complete upper secondary school go on to university studies.

First Cycle

First-level university studies include the 2-year Diploma which is offered in areas such as electronics, information technology, pharmacy, and dentistry. Bachelors program are generally 4 years, although the Bachelor of Engineering program is 5 years.

Second and Third Cycles

Graduate programs are 2 years and lead to the Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Master of Engineering. Graduate programs require a bachelor's degree for admission.

Doctoral programs are not offered in Yemen. However, students who have excelled in undergraduate and graduate programs can completed a doctoral program in cooperation with Ain-Shams University in Egypt and under the supervision of a faculty member in Yemen.

Teacher Training

Basic school teachers are trained at one of 14 teacher training institutes in a 2-year program leading to the Teacher's Certificate. Upper secondary school teachers must hold a Bachelor of Arts in Education.



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