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The extended secondary school, officially twelve-class general educational polytechnic secondary school, abbreviation EOS, was the standard institution of higher education in the education system of East Germany. It finished with the final examination called Reifeprüfung at the end of the 12th grade, granting the Reifezeugnis, the certificate of eligibility for university entrance. The school structure was a four-class comprehensive school without any internal or external differentiation. The EOS was established in 1959 to replace the hitherto existing Oberschule as laid down by the Act on Socialistic Development of the School System in the German Democratic Republic effective December 2, 1959. The designation Gymnasium was not common in East Germany.
The Ministry of Education determined a table of lessons (Stundentafel) which was mandatory for all extended secondary schools. Like for the polytechnic secondary schools there was one uniform, systemic curriculum, also mandatory for all extended secondary schools. One lesson lasted 45 minutes and students went to school six days a week, from Monday to Saturday. On Saturdays, there were approximately five to six lessons.
Compulsory teaching had to follow this standard table of lessons when the transformation process was finished and all requirements could be met by the school, for instance, the number of teachers, number of educators, teaching equipment and so forth.