Slovakia has an estimated adult literacy rate of 99%. Education is compulsory for nine years, approximately up to the age of 15. Elementary education lasts for four years followed by eight years of secondary education, which is provided in general or specialized and technical schools. In 1997, primary schools enrolled 329,880 students and employed 16,820 teachers. Student-to-teacher ratio stood at 20 to 1. In the same year, secondary schools had 677,377 students and 54,694 teachers. There were 19 pupils per teacher at the primary level in 1999. In the same year, public expenditure on education was estimated at 4.3% of GDP.
Slovakia has 13 universities, with the oldest being Cornenius (Komensky) University in Bratislava. The Pavel Josef Afarík University, founded in 1959, is in Košice. In 1997, 101,764 students were enrolled at the institutions of higher education; teaching staff totaled 9,849.