Definition: Lower secondary or second stage of basic education (ISCED level 2)

Category: Education - ISCED

The contents of education at this stage are typically designed to complete the provision of basic education which began at ISCED level 1. In many, if not most countries, the educational aim is to lay the foundation for lifelong learning and human development on which countries may expand, systematically, further educational opportunities. The programmes at this level are usually on a more subject-oriented pattern using more specialized teachers and more often several teachers conducting classes in their field of specialization. The full implementation of basic skills occurs at this level. The end of this level often coincides with the end of compulsory education where it exists.

Level 2 includes also: 

- In countries where primary education is part of 'basic education', the second stage of 'basic education' should be included in level 2. If 'basic education' is not officially divided into stages, the years after the sixth should be classified as level 2.

- This level includes special needs education programmes and all adult education which are similar in content to the education given at this level, e.g. the education which gives to adults the basic skills necessary for further learning.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), "International Standard Classification of Education - ISCED 1997", Paris, November 1997