Schools in Chennai are either run publicly by the Tamil Nadu government or privately, some with financial aid from the government. The medium of education is either English or Tamil, with the former being the majority. Most schools are affiliated with the Tamil Nadu State Board, the Matriculation Board or the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). A few schools are affiliated with the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) board, there are even schools which caterNational Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) board, Anglo-Indian board or the Montessori system. Schooling begins at the age of three with two years of kindergarten followed by ten years of primary and secondary education. Students then need to complete two years of higher secondary education in either science or commerce before being eligible for college education in a general or professional field of study. There are 1,389 schools in the city, out of which 731 are primary, 232 are secondary and 426 are higher secondary schools.
The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) and College of Engineering, Guindy, founded in 1794 and Madras Institute of Technology (Alma mater of former president Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam) are the premier centres for engineering education in the city. Most colleges that offer engineering programs are affiliated to Anna University. Madras Medical College (MMC), Stanley Medical College (SMC), Kilpauk Medical College and Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute(SRMC) are the notable medical colleges in Chennai.
Colleges for science, arts and commerce degrees are typically affiliated with the University of Madras, which has three campuses in the city; some colleges such asRamakrishna Mission Vivekananda College, Madras Christian College, Loyola College and The New College are autonomous. Research institutions like the prestigiousInstitute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI) and the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) are in the city. The Indian Army's Officers Training Academy is also based in the city. The Connemara Public Library is one of four National Depository Centres in India that receive a copy of all newspapers and books published in India. It has been declared a UNESCO information centre.
There are 15 Government hospitals and a large number of private hospitals which provide medical and health care. The Government General hospital, popularly referred to as "G.H.", is the biggest government run hospital in the city. There are many large private hospitals, among which many are multi-speciality hospitals. Some of India's well-known healthcare institutions such as Apollo Hospitals (the largest private healthcare provider in Asia),Sankara Nethralaya,Madras Medical Mission (MMM), Frontier Lifeline & K.M.Cherian heart foundation and Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre are based in the city, making it one of the preferred destinations for medical touristsfrom across the globe.