Every citizen of Costa Rica is eligible for free access to the country’s public education system, which was established in 1869. The pride comes from the fact that, as their educational system demonstrates, they continue to hold a very high rating compared to the rest of the countries worldwide.

The Emphasis on Education

According to the most recent report on global competitiveness, this places it in the “high quality” category compared to the rest of the world. The educational system in Costa Rica is held in high esteem in this region of the world since it has led to a literacy rate of 94.9%, which is a total of 2 points higher than the average for the countries in Latin America and those in the Caribbean.

The overall educational system is divided into three different cycles:

–        Pre-education: before 7 years old;

–        Primary Education: from 7 to 12 years old;

–        Secondary Education: from 12 to 18 years old.

Even though most children in the country attend some form of primary school between the ages of 7 and 12, the secondary education system focuses on academics and technical subjects. It is up to the families to decide the type of institution they want their children to attend. After they graduate, it will make them more competitive candidates for further education, including universities, colleges, etc., based on the student’s preferences.

It is a remarkable system of higher education that has established itself as a model for many other institutions in the region. In Costa Rica, there are roughly twenty private colleges and universities and five governmental universities and colleges that offer higher education.

The Costa Rican government must allocate at least 8% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) toward the upkeep of the country’s educational system. However, the country does not have a military. There is no doubt that Costa Rica’s one-of-a-kind educational system is at the core of the country’s persistent economic prosperity for its population, even though several other variables contribute to this wealth.

School for Expat Children

As Costa Rica is home to such a diverse population of individuals who come from a range of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, the country is home to a diverse range of private schools that cater to the requirements of these students. Many children from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Israel, Germany, and many other countries currently reside in Costa Rica and take advantage of the high educational standards offered by the various private schools.

Because of the multilingual character of the primary school system in Costa Rica, it is rather common for “Expats.” These people have migrated to the country to send their adolescent children to national high schools because the quality of education is outstanding.

Due to the high level of achievement expected of students, the educational system in Costa Rica is an excellent choice for families coming from other countries. The people of Costa Rica view their country’s educational system as one of the pillars of their nation’s social and economic stability, contributing to its overall growth and prosperity. Those who meet the requirements to enter and work in Costa Rica today can have peace of mind knowing that their children will have access to a respectable and high-quality education at either a private or public learning institution.


-Written by Glenn Tellier (Founder of CRIE and Grupo Gap).

[email protected]

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