Reducing the Gender Gap Remains a Challenge for Costa Rica

    For a decade the country has had lower results than the OECD average in its PISA tests

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    In terms of education, Costa Rica has a gender gap in favor of men, especially in math and science. This is shown by a study by Lead University on the results of the PISA tests, carried out by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This tool is used to measure the academic performance of 15-year-old students in math, science, and reading.

    “The gap in mathematics is double in our country, compared to the nations that make up this international institution,” explained the students of the Master of Commerce and International Markets, Ximena Valverde and Silvia Argüello, authors of the study.

    Costa Rica continues to have the same challenge as three years ago
    The current results indicate that the country continues to face the same challenge since 2009, when it began to participate in the tests: reducing the gender gap and attracting more women to careers in Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEAM).

    “Despite efforts and investment in education, our country not only has a significant gender gap, but for a decade it has had lower results than the OECD average, in all PISA tests, not only in science and mathematics”, commented Valverde. For the expert, results like this force to rethink the educational system and innovate the way these subjects are taught from childhood.

    Women in STEM careers are essential for the development of the country
    In the opinion of the experts, attracting more women to STEM careers is essential for the development of Costa Rica and of any other country. The research recommends a greater accompaniment of women from childhood, in order to awaken their interest in careers that are traditionally chosen by men.

    “There are many ways in which other countries have been able to reduce this gap, such as concrete actions in educational centers, which help little by little to obtain good results,” the researcher pointed out. In addition, she advises promoting tutorials outside the classroom to reinforce learning and focus on a higher quality of teachers.

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