The school year runs from mid-January to mid-October, with a 2-week break in the middle of the year.

  • Pre-School (ages 4 to 6) Optional. Public or government institutions only work with children aged 5 and 6. So younger children must attend a private institution
  • Primary (grades 1-6)
  • Secondary (Middle School, grades 7-9)
  • Diversified (High School, grades 10-11 or 10-12) Students choose either a 2-year baccalaureate program to prepare for university, or a 3-year vocational program to train for technical careers.
  • College There are public and private institutions; the length of the program depends on the degree.

Education is theoretically ‘free’ up to grade 6. But in government (public) primary schools, parents are still required to pay a portion of the tuition, which increases with each grade level – up to 80% at 6th grade.  In addition, parents have to pay for uniforms, supplies and transportation. 

Government schools are scarce, though, especially in rural areas, so other organizations have created schools to fill the gap. For these non-government (private) schools, parents have to pay 100% of the tuition at every grade level, plus uniforms, supplies and transportation.  

There are no government schools beyond 6th grade, so all students must pay full tuition for grades 7-12 and college.

Estimated average costs, including tuition, transportation, uniform and other costs:




Preschool/Primary School

 $     200

 $         450

Middle School

 $      450

 $         600

High School

 $      700

 $      1,600


 $      900

 $       8,000

The average cost for a year of school for Wakami children is $600.

To ensure that every child of a Wakami artisan can attend school, the total cost is $74,000 per year. This amount includes Wakami’s administrative expenses, which cover visits to the communities, monitoring of school attendance, and counseling for mothers to improve the use of their income and support their children’s education.  In addition to covering the direct costs, the Wakami scholarship program aims to provide the support and framework necessary to truly give each child a chance to succeed.

Yes!  Please make checks payable to: Wakami Foundation. Write “Scholarship Program” on the memo line and mail to:

Wakami Foundation

1435 Pulaski Road

Buffalo, MN  55313

The Wakami Foundation is a Minnesota-based, 501(c)(3) charitable organization authorized to accept tax-deductible  contributions.