Costa Rica: A First Step Towards Dual Education

The Automotive Mechanics course has been selected to be part of the first pilot plan to implement a dual education system in 2017, in four technical schools in the country.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Vocational College of Arts and Crafts (Covão) in Cartago as well as the Technical Professional Colleges (CTP in Spanish) Monsignor Sanabria, in Desamparados, Carlos Manuel Vicente in Golfito, and Jesus Ocaña in Alajuela, are the institutions which will be implementing the pilot dual education plan in 2017.

Officials at the Education Ministry explained that the students who will be taking part must have completed their ninth year, and when they finish, they will get a semi technical certificate in the subject and also their bachillerato or high school certificate. The amount of time that students will spend in classrooms and in companies will be distributed differently as they progress through the curriculum. In the tenth year,  90% of the time will be spent at school and 10% in companies. In the eleventh year the time in class will drop to 80%, and in the twelfth year it will be only 70%.

See: "A Big YES to Dual Education From Businesses"

From a statement issued by the Uccaep:

December 8, 2016.  The Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of Private Business Sector (UCCAEP) welcomes the implementation of the initiative on dual education, which the Higher Education Council approved implementation of in four educational centers in the country under the Ministry of Public Education.
"This is an important step in the right direction and one of the biggest advantages is that young people can learn in a practical way in companies. In addition, for students, this represents training aligned with the real needs of the productive sector," said Victor Ruiz, acting President of the UCCAEP.

More on this topic

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According to figures from the Central American Observatory of Social Development, Costa Rica and Panama are the countries in the region with the highest rates of youth unemployment, with 27% and 15%, respectively.

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A Big YES to Dual Education From Businesses

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Seven out of ten entrepreneurs in Costa Rica would be willing to implement training programs for young people in the academic-work placement format.

A statement from the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of Private Enterprises (UCCAEP) notes that   "... 72% of employers would be interested in launching training programs under the dual mode and 83% said they already have accepted into their businesses students or trainees for internships or professional work experience."

Learning at work: Dual Education

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Dual education is a system which corrects the permanent discrepancy that exists between centralized education and labor supply, reducing youth unemployment and increasing the productivity of economies.


The use of professional training is the foundation for the success of Germany's productivity, and has been adopted in most European countries, with particular strength in Austria and Switzerland.

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