Education, Crisis and Radical Changes

The health and economic crisis has forced private schools and universities in Central American countries to cut back on staff, invest in platforms for virtual classes, offer payment facilities and increase their presence in the digital environment.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Because of the spread of covid-19, in most countries in the region, face-to-face classes at all educational levels have been suspended since mid-March 2020.

See "Potential market for educational services"

The health emergency caused an economic crisis throughout Central America, a situation that has affected the financial health of the education sector and is now reflected in private institutions.

In this context of crisis in Costa Rica, private universities have had to provide payment facilities to their students. Nelson Rojas of the University of Medical Sciences' (Ucimed) communications department told Nacion.com that "... At the financial level we had to give very significant discounts, not apply interest and keep the costs without annual increases, to mitigate the negative impact that students and their families have suffered."

You may be interested in the "Study of College Career Preferences in Central America"

The article adds that Ucimed "... decided to keep all its payroll because medical science careers require specialists to teach the classes. The strategy to complement the online lessons was accompanied by a video library of clinical cases, webinars, workshops in social networks and access to a digital library."

An article in Elperiodico.com.gt points out that in Guatemala in this scenario of changes in the educational systems "... one of the main difficulties is the resistance of parents to paying tuition, due to the non-attendance of their children at the educational center, or the demand for a discount for the same reason."

Lorraine Reichenbach, who works at the Swiss American School, explained that "... In our case, the delinquent portfolio increased by 20 to 25 percent,' but our way of solving it is to try to reach an agreement with parents to make deferred payments in installments until the rest of the year."

Regarding the interest in virtual education, CentralAmericaData reports that so far this year in the Central American markets the interest in distance education services reported a clear upturn, with Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama, the countries that recorded the largest increases in interactions associated with the subject.

See the article from Nacion.com "Private universities face the pandemic with virtual classes, more scholarships and adjustments to their payrolls" and from Elperiodico.com.gt "Private schools face crisis and reinvent themselves" (both in Spanish).

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