Levels of Schooling
Schooling is organized somewhat differently in Pakistan from North America. A child normally begins with kindergarten followed by five years of elementary education. Primary schools (K-5) are generally coeducational. Middle school is the next level; it runs from class six through eight. Girls and boys usually study in separate schools from sixth class on. High school consists of ninth and tenth class, leading to the secondary school examinations. Students who pass this exam receive a Secondary School Certificate, also known as a Matriculation Certificate. “Matric Pass” students have therefore finished ten years of schooling.
A further two years of study, termed intermediate or F.A. classes, leads to the Higher Secondary Certificate or so-called F.A. degree. This is the qualification that is required for admission to college (B.A. or B.Sc. courses). Although studying at the F.A. level is considered post-secondary education in Pakistan, completing the F.A. is actually equivalent to finishing high school (secondary school) in North America.