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Education in Costa Rica

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Title: Education in Costa Rica  
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Subject: Index of Central America-related articles, List of education articles by country, Education, Sociology of education, Philosophy of education
Collection: Education in Costa Rica, Universities in Costa Rica
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Education in Costa Rica

Education in Costa Rica is divided in 3 cycles: pre-education(before 7), primary education(from 7 to 12), and secondary school(from 12 to 18), which leads to higher education. Elementary and secondary school are both divided in two cycles.[1] Since 1869, education is free and compulsory (article 78 of the constitution).

Costa Rica education system is ranked 20th in the “Global competitiveness Report 2013-14”, and is described as of “high quality”.[2] The literacy rate in Costa Rica is 94.9%.[3] It is 2 points over the average for Latin-America and Caribbean countries.[4]


  • Primary Education 1
  • Secondary Education 2
  • Universities 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Primary Education

The primary education lasts six years and is divided in two cycles. The uniform is obligatory, in order to reduce social and economic distinctions.[5]

Secondary Education

The secondary Education is divided in two cycles of three years. The first cycle is dedicated to general education. The second cycle, while keeping a core curriculum, implies a specialization. Specializations can be academic or technical (agricultural, industrial, commercial, secretarial, accounting, crafts, family and social education).[6]

The second cycle ends with the “Bachillerato”, granting access to higher Education. Nonetheless, many universities have in addition their own entrance examination.[7]


There are five public universities in Costa Rica

Public universities offer degree programs according to their specialty and by law, and manage their own central and regional campus. By Costa Rican law, two different public universities may not offer the same degree program.

There are also several private universities:


  1. ^ World data on Education, UNESCO-IBE(2010-11)
  2. ^ p54, Global competitiveness Report 2013-2014
  3. ^ Central Intelligence Agency (2011)
  4. ^ "fact sheet", UNESCO-UIS(sept 2013)
  5. ^ Costa Rica embassy in Germany
  6. ^ Vocation Education in Costa Rica, UNESCO-UNEVOC
  7. ^

External links

  • Sistemas educativos en Costa Rica
  • Photos of Costa Rican Educational Facilities
  • Ministerio de Educación -Government portal
  • Vocational Education in Costa-Rica, UNESCO-UNEVOC(2012)
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