LICEO de Costa Rica in San José has become the first public high school in Central America to offer an International Baccalaureate (IB) degree, according to the daily La Nación.The IB is an internationally recognized degree, equivalent to a high-school diploma, earned through special coursework and exams and available to students at schools around the world. In Costa Rica, the degree is already available at the private schools Lincoln, Británico, Blue Valley, Internacional SOS and Europeo, according to La Nación.The IB program will be optional; it offers a special course in English as well as reinforcing math and science studies. According to the Web site for the International Baccalaureate Organization, www.ibo.org, IB students must study math, science, a foreign language, the arts and humanities, covering a wide array of topics.In tenth grade, Liceo de Costa Rica students will now have the choice of pursuing an IB in the sciences or humanities, La Nación reported. The program adds a year to an IB student’s high school studies. The Public Education Ministry will cover the additional costs the program incurs.