San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Students Need Repeat Only Failed Subjects

High school students in public schools who fail one subject no longer need to repeat the entire school year.

Students can now retake the subjects they failed and move forward in other subjects, according to a decree issued this month by the Superior Education Council.

Mauricio Azofeifa, a spokesman for the Education Ministry, said the old policy led to high drop-out rates. Students got bored because they had to sit through lessons that they had already mastered, he said. “Classrooms were full of people who already knew enough to move on. The system drove students away.”

Last year, 21.7 percent of seventhgraders dropped out of school. Some 13.4 percent of 10th-graders, 11.3 percent of eighth-graders and 7 percent of ninth-graders also dropped out.


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