The Right to Education in Costa Rica

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The right to education is one of the fundamental rights of Costa Rican citizens. In principle, all countries that recognize this right as fundamental and crucial for the peoples development make efforts to give it to their citizens. These countries are beginning to recognize the right of children to have access to education with the purpose of gradually achieving a better quality of life as professionals and equal opportunity conditions.

It is for this reason that they aim to implement primary education as free and mandatory for all, promote development in its different forms of secondary education, make higher education accessible to all based on capacity and by every appropriate means, try to make available and accessible information and guidance in educational and professional issues, and take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and reduce dropout rates.In our Constitution, the right to education is stipulated in Article 70, which states that public education will be organized as a comprehensive process correlated in its various phases from kindergarten to university.

It further provides that the State should make available technological access at all educational levels, as well as the continuation of higher studies for those who lack financial resources; the award of scholarships and assistance will be provided by the Ministry of Education, through the agency determined by law.

The right to education is crucial to overcome the great poverty we have in our country, to even productive opportunities, and to promote greater gender equity and access for the wellbeing of future generations.

Similarly, the right to education is the key element to form future productive adults; in addition, an education focused on rights help children and teenagers develop within an environment of fair treatment and respect for others, and strengthens the foundations of citizen democracy.

But access and opportunities to education are not always easy; there are wide access and trajectory gaps determined by the socioeconomic level, the rural-urban location, and the ethnic group of the individual, which are then reflected in the quality of the employment, access to welfare, and exercise of skills for modern living.

Remote communities and areas of the country suffer such disadvantages, such as the community of Talamanca.

There are also problems with the effective learning of students and lags in the quality of the offer, equipment, conditions, and training of teachers.

While Costa Rica has made progress in the socialization of fairness and reciprocity of rights in the classroom, in the field of gender and performance of teachers there is still a long way to go regarding discrimination and authoritarian treatment.

The Costa Rican government has put aside the concern for children and their right to education which, I repeat, starts from kindergarten and ends in college. This is very worrying because children of today will be the professionals and men of tomorrow; therefore much more support in development, promotion, encouragement and promotion of such right must be provided.