Certificate of Secondary Education

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Certificate of Secondary Education


a document certifying graduation from secondary general education schools of the USSR, including evening (shift) school and correspondence school; it is also issued to persons who have successfully passed examinations from the secondary schools as externs.

The certificate of secondary education was introduced through decrees passed by the Council of Ministers of the Union republics in 1962 in order to replace the certificate of maturity, a document analogous to the certificate of secondary education issued from 1944 to 1962. (From 1918 to 1934 students who graduated from secondary educational schools were issued a certificate, and from 1935 to 1944 they were given certificates of secondary education.) Three types of certificates were established in 1962: without distinction; for secondary school graduates with a gold medal; for secondary school graduates with a silver medal. Beginning with the academic year 1968–69 there were two certificates, the regular one and the one with a gold medal. The certificate of secondary education gives a student the right to enter any higher or secondary special school or other educational institution of the USSR on condition that he or she successfully pass established competitive examinations and tests (during the years 1918–44 students who graduated from secondary general educational schools were issued certificates of the regulation type).

Documents certifying general secondary education also include the diploma signifying graduation from a secondary specialized educational institution and the certificate of mastery of a trade including a secondary education, which is issued to graduates of vocational-technical schools that train qualified workers with a secondary education.

In prerevolutionary Russia the document signifying the completion of secondary education was the certificate of maturity, which was first introduced in 1872 in men’s Gymnasiums and which gave the right to the student to enter the university. Students who graduated from the women’s Gymnasiums could take the examinations for the certificate of maturity as externs.

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