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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisation of Single-structure Education


5.Single-structure Primary and Lower Secondary Education

5.1Organisation of Single-structure Education

Last update: 15 February 2024


Geographical Accessibility

All children residing in the Republic of Albania that belong to the age group 6-16 years old have the right to attend basic education which is obligatory. Those that do not finish in time basic education may follow it on part time basis. Schools that offer this type of education are the following:

- 9 years integrated schools [shkolla 9 vjeçare].

- Institutes and Centers [Institute dhe Qendra] that offer lessons at basic education level for children with limited abilities.

inegrated primary and lower secondary education institutions are located in the whole territory of Albania.

Admission Requirements and Choice of School

Integrated primary and lower secondary education [arsimi 9 vjeçar]  has a duration of 9 years and is divided into two cycles 

  • Primary education – KNSA 1, age 6-10 years that consists of five classes (classes 1-5).
  • Lower secondary education – KNSA 2, age 11-14 years which consists of four classes 6-9. 

Citizens that are over 16 years old but did not complete education at normal schools can finish it in part-time schools.

Basic education including both cycles is provided also in special schools for students with limited abilities. Based on their state they can choose to follow education on special schools or in common ones. Both types of education are taught within the same school.


The documents for registration of students for the first grade of basic education include birth certificate of the child, statement of vaccination from healthcare center, report from the oculist, the address of the child, the statement that he/she followed kindergarten on respective groups (optional). In principle parents cannot choose the institution in which they want to register but they are accommodated to the institutions nearby their residence. Following 2023 changes in legislation registration of first grade students in basic education is done online

It is very rear to suspend children from basic education or from lower secondary education. However, based on the law the pupil can repeat the class if he/she does not pass with successful results more than 70% of the subjects or if he/she fails to attend without a reason (i.e. medical report or other official justifications) over 20% of the hours of a specific subject. Nevertheless, in most cases of such issues they are mitigated between the teachers, the child and the parent and then the final decision is made. There is no right to appeal to any such decision and no case of going to court for any expulsion at this level is known so far.

As mentioned above school coverage covers all parts of the territory of the Republic of Albania for the level of integrated primary and lower secondary school. In cases where children reside more than 5 km away from their school their transportation is subsidized by local governance units.

Age Levels and Grouping of Students

In basic education in both primary and lower secondary cycle is done in classes. Students in classes I-III (primary cycle) belong to the age group 6-9 years old while students in the second cycle  belonging to classes IV-IX belong to the age group 10-16. Basic education is divided into 4 classes while lower secondary education is divided into 5  classes. From class I to IV there is one teacher teaching for all subjects. In classes IV-IX there are different teacher teaching the different subjects of the respective curricula. It may be nevertheless that a teacher who teaches math for instance at lower secondary level (classes IV to IX) teaches also physics for the same class in some cases.

Based on the respective guidance of 2024 the number of students per class in basic education (i.e. classes I to IV) is no less than 10. There are two parallel classes where the no of pupils is 11-25 (i.e. two classes I or II or so on). There might be 3 or more parallel classes where the number of students per that class in the school is 26-40.

In lower secondary education (classes VI-IX) the minimum number of students to have a class is 10. There are two parallel classes where the number of students is between 11-25 and three parallel classes where the number of students is  above 35. Where the number of given classes exceeds 35 people for a given level (ex. class VI) additional classes are founded for that level.

Organisation of the School Year

According to the law on pre university education and its ammendments,  the Duration and organization of the school year is done by Guidance of Minister of Education and Sport.  These guidances define the timing and structure of each level of pre-university education including also basic education and lower secondary education. School year usually starts in September and ends in June. The school is organized into semesers divided by summer and winter holiday. School year organization for each school year is done by respective order of Minister of Education and Sports.

Organisation of the School Day and Week

The school day at basic education starts at 8 a.m and finishes at about 13 P.M. Some times in crowded schools lessons take place with two shifts. The duration of a lesson hour is 45 minutes with 5 minutes breaks between hours.  

The information on the organisation of the school year (starting date as well as end of students' and teachers' school, dates of holidays) is annually updated by the National Units in the publication “Organisation of the school time in Europe. Primary and secondary education” (available on the Eurydice website).