The Costa Rican Ministry of Public Education (MEP) announced this past Monday the total suspension of the school year from next May 24th due to the situation facing the country due to COVID-19. Classes in combined mode (in-person and virtual) will return until July 12th and will last until January 2022.
The Minister of Education, Guiselle Cruz, explained that the total suspension of classes will be from May 24th to June 25th, from that moment on, the mid-term holidays will begin, which are from June 28th to July 9th, and classes would resume on Monday, July 12th and will continue until January 21st (with a break for Christmas, between December 23rd and January 2nd). It was also reported that the graduations of the different cycles will take place on January 20th.
“An unprecedented situation requires unprecedented measures,” said the Minister, who added that in the case of private educational centers they have the possibility to make their own decisions and added that this week she will meet with their representatives.
“Given the situation in the country due to the increase in infections, and as a measure that comes to accompany other measures that the Government will report tomorrow, we have decided in the Ministry of Public Education, after much analysis and with the accompaniment from the President of the Republic and other leaders, we have made a proposal and the determination is made to reorganize the 2021 school year,” said the minister, who added that the announced pause will reduce mobility and also advance the vaccination process where teachers are expected to be prioritized.
This decision contemplates that, from now on, other analyzes will also have to be carried out, for example, whether or not FARO tests can be performed. On this subject, the Education Official said that she hoped to be able to apply these tests at some levels, without specifying which ones or when.
A complicated situation
“We are in a complicated situation in the country with an increase in infections, we know that we are, as the specialists say, at the highest peak, and this decision leads us to make this reorganization of the school year. What does it mean? Make a interruption from May 24th and we return on July 12th,” she explained.
All students not having the same opportunities
The Minister said that the decision to completely pause learning and not maintain the virtual modality is due to the fact that they are clear that not all the student community has access to the internet and that “it is not fair to increase the lag with a distance education with all students in the country not having the same opportunities and therefore do not obtain the same results.” “More than 400 thousand students do not have the possibility of connectivity in their homes, despite the efforts that as a ministry we have made,” added the hierarch.