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an intermediate or secondary school whose curriculum emphasizes the natural sciences and mathematics.
The first Realschulen were founded in Germany in the mid-18th century as semivocational schools. In Russia, Realschulen (real’nye uchilishcha) offering six or seven years of instruction were established in 1872 to replace the Realgymnasiums (real’nye gimnazii). Practical subjects such as mechanics, applied chemistry, and business were taught in the higher grades. Graduates of these schools could enroll at technical, industrial, and commercial higher educational institutions, but they were not admitted to the universities. In 1888 the Realschulen were converted into general educational institutions whose graduates could enroll in the physics and mathematics and medical faculties of universities. In 1913 there were 276 Realschulen in Russia with a total enrollment of about 17,000 pupils, or one-third of all the pupils at boys’ secondary schools. After the victory of the October Revolution of 1917, Realschulen were abolished. In a number of countries Realschulen are still part of the system of public education.