Education in Costa Rica is divided in 3 cycles: pre-education (before age 7), primary education (from 6-7 to 12-13), and secondary school (from 12-13 to 17-18), which leads to higher education. School year starts between the second and third week of February, stops at the last week of June, it continues again between the third and fourth week of July and finishes between the last week of November (private kindergartens, schools and high schools) and the second week of December (public kindergartens, schools and high schools). Preschool and basic education are free to the public.Elementary and secondary school are both divided in two cycles. Since 1869, education is free and compulsory (article 78 of the constitution).
Costa Rica's education system is ranked 20th in the "Global Competitiveness Report 2013–14", and is described as of "high quality".The literacy rate in Costa Rica is 94.9%. It is 2 points over the average for Latin American and Caribbean countries.
The primary education lasts six years and is divided in three cycles. The uniform is obligatory, in order to reduce social and economic distinctions.
The secondary education comprises two cycles. The first cycle is dedicated to general education (three years). The second cycle, while keeping a core curriculum, implies a specialization (two years for academic; three years for technical). Specializations can be academic or technical (agricultural, industrial, commercial, secretarial, accounting, crafts, family and social education).
The third cycle ends with the "Bachillerato", granting access to higher Education. Nonetheless, many universities have their own entrance examination.
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.
The public universities publish a number of journals where students and academics can publish their research, and access international research publications freely. Some of these journals are:
There are also several private universities:
San José is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica, and the capital of the province of the same name. It is located in the centre of the country, specifically in the mid-west of the Central Valley, and contained within San José Canton. San José is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of Costa Rica. The population of San José Canton was 288,054 in 2011, and San José’s municipal land area measures 44.2 square kilometers, with an estimated 333,980 residents in 2015. Together with several other cantons of the central valley including Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago it forms the Greater Metropolitan Area of the country, with an estimated population of over 2 million in 2017. The city is named in honor of Joseph of Nazareth.
Costa Rican culture has been heavily influenced by Spanish culture ever since the Spanish colonization of the Americas including the territory which today forms Costa Rica. Parts of the country have other strong cultural influences, including the Caribbean province of Limón and the Cordillera de Talamanca which are influenced by Jamaican immigrants and indigenous native people, respectively.
The University of Costa Rica is a public university in the Republic of Costa Rica, in Central America. Its main campus, Ciudad Universitaria Rodrigo Facio, is located in San Pedro Montes de Oca, in the province of San José. It is the oldest and largest institution of higher learning in Costa Rica, originally established as the Universidad de Santo Tomás in 1843. It is also the most important research university in the country and Central America, plus, considered as one of the most prestigious and recognized in Latin America. Approximately 45,000 students attend UCR throughout the year.
The National University of Costa Rica is one of five public universities in the Republic of Costa Rica, in Central America. The main campus is located in the city of Heredia. According to recent international studies, The National University of Costa Rica ranks 85th in Latin America and 1576th in the world. More than 12,000 students study in its main campus. In addition to offering a broad undergraduate curriculum, it offers 16 Master of Arts degrees. It is known for its strong programs in ecology, sociology and education.
Education in Colombia includes nursery school, elementary school, high school, technical instruction and university education.
Education in Chile is divided in preschool, primary school, secondary school, and technical or higher education (university).The levels of education in Chile are:
Education in Brazil has had many changes. It first began with Jesuit missions, that controlled education for a long time. Then, two hundred years after their arrival, their powers were limited by Marquis de Pombal. Shortly after the Jesuits' power was limited, the Brazilian government took over education and it is now is run by the Brazilian government through the Ministry of Education.
Universidad de Ciencias Médicas (UCIMED) is a medical school in San José, Costa Rica. The university is best known for its medicine program and is recognized as one of the best medical schools in Central America.
Carmen Lyra was the pseudonym of the first prominent female Costa Rican writer, born Maria Isabel Carvajal Quesada. She was a teacher and founder of the country's first Montessori school. She was a co-founder of the Communist Party of Costa Rica, as well as one of the country's first female worker's unions. She was one of the earliest writers to criticize the dominance of the fruit companies. She won many prizes.
Montes de Oca is the 15th canton in the province of San José in Costa Rica. The canton covers an area of 15.16 square kilometres (5.85 sq mi), and has a population of 54,288. The capital city of the canton is San Pedro.
Jorge Eduardo Arroyo-Pérez is a Costa Rican writer, playwright, opinion columnist, essayist, poet and theater director. He is currently Costa Rica's ambassador to UNESCO.
Clodomiro Picado Twight, also known as "Clorito Picado", was a Costa Rican scientist, born in Nicaragua, who was recognized for his research and discoveries. He was a pioneer in the researching of snakes and serpent venoms; his internationally recognized achievement is the development of various antivenins. His work on molds was a precursor to the formal discovery of penicillin. His work resulted in compounds which he used to treat patients at least one year before the re-discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming. He wrote over 115 works, mainly books and monographs.
Education in Uruguay is compulsory for a total of nine years, beginning at the primary level, and is free from the pre-primary through the university level. In 1996, the gross primary enrollment rate was 111.7 percent, and the net primary enrollment rate was 92.9 percent. Primary school attendance rates were unavailable for Uruguay as of 2001.
Ibo Bonilla Oconitrillo is an architect, sculptor, mathematician and educator of Costa Rica. He has Costa Rican and Spanish nationality.
Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica, also known as UNEM or Business University of Costa Rica, is a private university in the city of San José, Costa Rica. It is approved by the Consejo Nacional de Enseñanza Superior Universitaria Privada, the national council of higher education of Costa Rica, to award undergraduate degrees in accounting and business administration, and master's degrees in business administration.
Paso Canoas is an international city shared between Puntarenas Province in Costa Rica and Chiriquí Province in the west of Panama. The border between Costa Rica and Panama crosses Paso Canoas from north to south, with the result that the city is both Costa Rican and Panamanian.
María Teresa Obregón Zamora (1888-1956) was a teacher, suffragist and politician in Costa Rica. She was part of the group that formed the Asociación Nacional de Educadores (ANDE) and fought for women's enfranchisement. After winning the vote, she helped found the National Liberation Party of Costa Rica and was one of the first three women elected as a Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica. In 2002, Obregón was honored as one of the inaugural group of women inducted into La Galería de las Mujeres de Costa Rica.