Costa Rica News – I think that every child should have the ability to receive a quality education, but when does the government take a look a serious problems in the current system in regards to providing an environment that is conducive to learning?
There’s a small school in Alajuela that has just one student, Noelia Garcia Aleman. She is in the fourth grade and is taught by Mr. Marvin Cabelceta. As if that’s not unbelievable enough, there are 18 other schools in the country with just one student each!
In 2000, there were only two such schools. Now there are 19, according to the Ministry of Public Education (MEP). Almost ¢200 million are spent annually to provide salaries to the teachers of these students. The MEP guarantees the right to education to all children.
Noelia used to have classmates to play with at recess, but some are now over primary school age and others have left the village. She is a good student, with grades in the 90s. She travels by horseback 45 minutes each day to attend the school.
These single teacher schools have shortcomings, like lack of maintenance. They are located in poor areas. They have deteriorated classrooms and lunch areas. There are leaks and termites. Many of these are in the northern part of Costa Rica.
The citizens of Rancho Quemado have been asking for a new building for three years, as their school has abundant leaks, unbearable heat, and no drinking water. Sometimes the classes have to be taught outside because of the heat in the building. In addition, students must bring water from home. T
he intention and the commitment is that no child is left illiterate, but the facilities are not always kept up to a working condition.