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News > Costa Rica

Costa Rica Begins 2021 School Year With In-Person Classes

  • A child plays in a kindergarten, Costa Rica, Feb. 7, 2021.

    A child plays in a kindergarten, Costa Rica, Feb. 7, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @CarlosAlvQ

Published 8 February 2021

Over 4,000 centers will be opened to welcome students who will also receive distance education in some cases.

Costa Rica's Interim Education Minister Melania Brenes on Sunday announced the resumption of in-person classes with the attendance of over one million students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Students will return to classes in 4,500 centers under a combined system of "face-to-face" classes and distance education. Didactic materials will be distributed to those pupils who do not have access to the Internet.

On Friday, Brenes reported a shortage of over 800 teachers to resume the classes; however, Child Advocacy International (CAI) warned the deficit rises to at least 1,000 teachers and affects 35,000 students. 

"The return to in-person classes is a national decision, a commitment in which all of us must join our efforts. It is challenging but we are confident that the country will come out ahead," Brenes stressed.

In 2020, the Public Education Ministry  (MEP) reported that 324,000 students had no access to the Internet. This year, around 200,000 students will be able to connect to virtual classes through state-sponsored chips.

There are 750 educational centers with health restriction orders, 80 of which will maintain distance learning dynamics. Over 1,130 children will receive preschool education in 63 centers, 33 of which are located in the capital San Jose. 

As of Monday morning, Costa Rica had confirmed 196,438 COVID-19 cases and 2,672 related deaths.

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