Poor Technical Training

In Costa Rica, "of the 126,000 students graduating with technical qualifications, between 2014 and 2016, the vast majority gained the lowest level qualification."

Monday, October 30, 2017


Figures from the most recent report on the State of Education in Costa Rica, continue to show serious deficiencies in the education system, not only at the technical and university level, but, even worse, in Primary school, where basic concepts that will serve as a foundation for secondary and university education are supposed to be consolidated.

The problem is so serious that it is no longer limited to the country's inability to produce technical staff with the necessary skills to enter the demanding labor market, but also reveals serious shortcomings children suffer from when graduating from sixth grade school and entering Secondary education.

Regarding the weakness that the country has in training technicians at middle and higher education level, Jorge Vargas Cullel, director of the State of the Nation program, told Nacion.com that "...It is so weak that I will put a figure on it: of the 126,000 graduates with technical qualifications, between 2014 and 2016, the vast majority of these technicians gained the lowest level qualification. Basically they are skilled workers. Nearly 70% of them are like that."

There is therefore "... a discrepancy, that is our main problem. There is a mismatch, a disconnect. On the supply side, the great weakness is that a small minority have the conditions to take advantage of these opportunities. In terms of middle and higher level technicians we produce very little. Bottlenecks could arise. If a company sets up and needs 2,000 technicians and there arent any."

Regarding the state of Primary education, "...This report also draws attention to the need to look again at Primary education, where there are other pending tasks, such as the universalization of the curriculum in all schools: only 5% of schools in the country teach all of the subjects provided in the study program. There is also a lack of articulation between the First and Second cycles, particularly in the teaching of reading.  In this area the results from tests by Terce, at Unesco, show a significant rupture between educational cycles: boys and girls learn to read in the First cycle, but in the Second they have serious problems advancing in reading comprehension, and they drag that deficiency with them to Secondary school (Third Cycle and Diversified Education)."

In this regard, an article in Nacion.com reports: "...In sixth grade they do not know how to solve mathematical problems with basic formulas, recognize literary figures or use scientific terms. 

"... Even in Mathematics and Reading, in the latest measurement, from 2013, children showed setbacks compared to the previous study done in 2008."

"... In reading comprehension, the results from Terce showed "a serious deficiency of children at the end of primary school", because they do not recognize expressions in figurative language, synonyms, pronouns, nor the function of connectors, verbs and orthographic signs."

See report "State of Education 2017" (in Spanish).

See articles from Nacion.com: "Director of State of the Nation:'Country is weak in producing technicians" and "Children leave school with only basic skills" (both in Spanish).

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