Primary education is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 14; the adult literacy rate is about 98%. The program of instruction is patterned after the Italian curriculum, and San Marinese school certificates are recognized by Italy. Children go through five years of primary education followed by three years of secondary education at the first stage and a further five years of higher secondary and pre-university education. In 1997, there were 14 elementary schools, with 1,170 students and 221 teachers. Student-to-teacher ratio stood at five to one. Middle and upper-secondary schools enrolled 1,192 pupils during the same year. San Marinese students are able to pursue higher education at Italian universities. There are also vocational training schools and a technical institute.