To describe artistic education in schools, we must consider general education schools in which specific hours a week are devoted to cultural education and specialised schools in which some areas of the arts are the priority. The field is regulated by the Law on General Education (№ 1532-VQ of March 29, 2019), the State Standards of General Education in the Republic of Azerbaijan (№ 103 of June 3, 2010) and the Model Charter of a Secondary School (№ 5 of January 13, 2011). Furthermore, one of the goals of the State Strategy for the Development of Education in the Republic of Azerbaijan (№ 995 of January 19, 2015) is to develop competency-based general education standards and curricula.
Currently, curricula for relevant subjects are being developed. At present, two curricula prepared by the Institute of Educational Issues, under the Ministry of Education, are devoted to arts education: the Educational Programme (Curriculum) on Music for I-IX Grades of Secondary Schools in general education and the Curriculum on Fine Arts for I-IX Grades of Secondary Schools of the Republic of Azerbaijan. These educational programmes provide the teaching of these disciplines for pupils of grades 1-9 of secondary schools in weekly lessons of a standard duration of 45 minutes. The primary purpose of music and fine arts in secondary schools is to ensure that students develop an understanding of arts and culture based on national and human values.
At present, there are 16 specialised schools providing education in culture and the arts at the special secondary level (11 music schools, three culture special secondary schools, a college of art and a dance school) in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Special secondary schools specialising in music (there are eight, including the Music College of Azerbaijan National Conservatoire) train performers in classical and folk instruments and teachers for children’s music schools. The College of the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts teaches painting, sculpture, carpet making, ceramics, model making, theatre design and the decorative and applied arts. Technical schools specialising in culture provide training in the following fields: culture and arts management, museum management, monument conservation, decorative and applied arts, and librarianship. They also have music departments that train music teachers for pre-school institutions and music schools. The second-level course runs for three years, while the first-level course runs for four. Some specialised schools offer both as a continuum; for example, the Secondary Special Music School, named after Byulbyul of the Baku Academy of Music. Training in these institutions lasts 11-12 years. Students who excel are provided with free tuition in the form of receive scholarships.