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a general secondary school in a number of Western European, Latin American, and African countries.
In France the lycée is the only general secondary school. It has a seven-year course of study and accepts students who have completed the five-year primary school. In their sixth year students are assigned to sections specializing in the humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and engineering. In the senior class there are five sections each having its own curriculum: philosophy and philology, economics, mathematics and physics, biology, and engineering. In order to graduate, students must pass the baccalauréat examination.
In Italy lycées are divided into “classical” and “real” schools. A five-year course of study is offered to those who have completed a five-year primary and three-year intermediate school. In the French-speaking cantons of Switzerland, the three- or four-year upper divisions of the secondary schools are called fycées. In Belgium the lycée is a secondary school for girls, and in Poland it is a four-year school conferring a certificate upon graduation. In 19th- and early 20th-century Germany and Austria-Hungary, the lycée was a general secondary school for women.
In prerevolutionary Russia, lycées were secondary and higher schools for the privileged classes. They trained children of the nobility for civil service posts, chiefly in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The best-known fycées were the Tsarskoe Selo, or Alek-sandrovskii, Lycée, the Richelieu Lycée in Odessa, the Nezhin Lycée, and the Yaroslavl’, or Demidov, Lycée.