Basic education in Latvia is compulsory. Children attend school from the year in which they turn seven. Basic education lasts nine years, consisting of four years at elementary school and five years at primary school. During the nine years of basic education, children are taught Latvian language, mathematics, music, visual art, sports, social sciences and domestic science. From the first till sixth year the natural sciences are also given. Pupils can choose ethics or christian education from first to third grade. First foreign language is taught from the third grade, and after three years of teaching the second foreign language begins. Literature starts at grade 4; informatics is tought from grade 5 till 7. History is tought from the sixth grade, while biology and geography lessons begin in grade 7, physics and chemistry in grade 8. A certificate is issued on completion of the basic education curriculum.
After finishing their basic education, most young people continue their education at secondary school, while about a third attends a vocational school.