San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Clock Ticking on Education Loan

Authorities from the World Bank have announced that if the Legislative Assembly does not approve a $30 million education loan from the bank within a month, it will lose the funds.

According to the daily La Prensa Libre, the World Bank authorized the loan 18 months ago, but Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly didn’t approve it in first debate until last week. Following this vote, however, legislators from the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC), Libertarian Movement, Broad Front and Access Without Exclusion Party (PASE) submitted the loan for review by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV), a process that can take up to a month.

If the Sala IV finds problems with the bill, its approval could be delayed indefinitely. Even if the justices approve of it, however, it would still need to be approved in second debate.

Jane Armitage, the World Bank’s director for Latin America and the Caribbean, told La Prensa Libre “we are very worried. A week ago we had a big celebration because we thought that finally, after almost 18 months, Congress had approved the loan, but now some problems have surfaced that worry us greatly.”

The funds would be used to improve infrastructure, as well as training for teachers and school board members, in rural areas, particularly frontier and indigenous regions (TT, Aug. 25).


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