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Educational System in Yemen

The one tip that you hear expats living in Yemen repeatedly sharing with newcomers is not to buy a home when you first move to Yemen. Rent for a few months or longer so that you have time to find the right neighborhood. Give yourself time to ensure that Yemen is right for you for the long term. If you've already taken time to do those things and are ready to take the plunge and become a property owner, here are tips about buying a home in Yemen.
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Yemen, located in the Middle East, has an educational system that is unique and different from many Western countries. The system is divided into several stages, each with its own focus and age group. This guide aims to provide expats with a comprehensive understanding of the educational system in Yemen, including the main stages of education, enrollment procedures, language requirements, availability of bilingual schools, types of private schools, and the feasibility of homeschooling and online schooling. It is important to note that the current political and security situation in Yemen may affect the availability and quality of education services.

What are the main stages of education in Yemen?

The Yemeni educational system is divided into three main stages: basic education, secondary education, and higher education. Basic education is further divided into two cycles: the first cycle (grades 1-4) and the second cycle (grades 5-9). Secondary education (grades 10-12) prepares students for university or vocational training. Higher education includes universities, colleges, and institutes.

Basic Education in Yemen

Basic education in Yemen is for children aged 6 to 14 years. The first cycle focuses on basic literacy and numeracy skills, while the second cycle introduces more complex subjects such as science, social studies, and English. Attendance is mandatory, and the curriculum is standardized across the country.

Secondary Education in Yemen

Secondary education in Yemen is for students aged 15 to 17 years. It is divided into two tracks: general secondary education and vocational secondary education. The general track prepares students for university, while the vocational track provides practical skills for the job market.

Higher Education in Yemen

Higher education in Yemen includes universities, colleges, and institutes. Admission is based on the results of the secondary school certificate examination. Higher education institutions offer a wide range of programs in fields such as arts, sciences, engineering, medicine, and law.

How does a newcomer from a different country enroll their kids in school?

Newcomers can enroll their children in Yemeni schools by submitting an application to the Ministry of Education. The application should include the child’s birth certificate, previous school records, and a health certificate. It is recommended to contact the school or the Ministry of Education for detailed information.

Can children still learning Arabic enroll in a public school?

Yes, children who are still learning Arabic can enroll in public schools in Yemen. However, they may face challenges as the medium of instruction is Arabic. Some schools offer Arabic language support for non-native speakers.

Are there public bilingual schools?

There are a few public bilingual schools in Yemen, mainly in major cities like Sana’a and Aden. Admission for international students is based on availability and the student’s proficiency in Arabic and English.

What types of private schools are common in Yemen?

Private schools in Yemen include international schools, bilingual schools, and religious schools. International schools follow foreign curriculums, while bilingual schools offer instruction in Arabic and English. Religious schools focus on Islamic studies in addition to the regular curriculum.

Do expats typically send their children to public or private school?

Expats in Yemen typically send their children to private schools, especially international schools, due to the language barrier and the perceived higher quality of education.

How expensive are Private schools in Yemen?

The cost of private schools in Yemen varies widely, depending on the type of school and the location. International schools are generally the most expensive, with tuition fees ranging from a few thousand to several thousand dollars per year.

Are you allowed to homeschool while living in Yemen?

Homeschooling is not common in Yemen and there are no specific laws regulating it. However, it may be possible with the approval of the Ministry of Education.

May kids attend online school instead of a local school while living in Yemen?

Online schooling is not widely recognized in Yemen, but it may be an option for expats. It is recommended to check with the Ministry of Education or the relevant educational authorities in your home country.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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