Public School in Costa Rica
Public school in Costa Rica is not as cheap as some would think and it is definitely not free. When you add up the cost of materials and uniforms there are children that drop out of school each year because of the exorbitant cost of these items.
School starts the first or second week of February for public schools as they are on the Costa Rica calendar, usually around the 8th or 10th of the month. When school starts the children are required to motor in with a bag of supplies that equals anywhere from $80-$250.00 worth of supplies. This amount would include the mandatory uniforms that they are required to wear. Add this to the transportation cost which is always extra. And don’t forget the backpack which was not included in the cost mentioned above.
When there is a family of 3 or 4 children this amount adds up for a family of a modest income. There is financial support of some sort but honestly I don’t quite understand how that works. This is built in so that children do not drop out of school before the 11th grade and they go onto to University.
Costa Rica is all about education. They pride themselves on the strong educational backbone of the country and to have this they must support the children in the public schools.
The public schools are very over populated and the children to not get the same education that they do in the private schools, this much I know for a fact. They are short on teachers and the schedules are shorter in hours than the private schools meaning they are not in school for as many hours a day.
I’m sure that there are many bright kids that come out of public schools but I feel that the children have a definite advantage if given a private education in Costa Rica.