Homeschooling in Costa Rica
Homeschooling is an education technique used in many countries, like Denmark, the United States, and Portugal. Coming to Costa Rica for the first time, a lot of immigrants coming with their kids may wonder about their
Homeschooling is an education technique used in many countries, like Denmark, the United States, and Portugal. Coming to Costa Rica for the first time, a lot of immigrants
coming with their kids may wonder about their education options. So, is homeschooling possible in Costa Rica? Short answer, no, it´s not. In this article I will tell you why.
In the Political Constitution of Costa Rica, the 78th article establishes that preescholar, basic and diversified education are mandatory, and on the public system they will be
free and paid by the Estate. The Estate must also supervise all private and public centers of education, homeschooling is not even thought of as an option.
The 6th article of the Fundamental Education Law establishes that the education system is divided into two main branches: “a) School Education, which will be taught in
the educational establishments themselves, and b) Extra-curricular education or cultural extension, which will be in charge of these same establishments and other
organizations…”. These article explicitly says that children, from preescholar age all the way to high school, must receive their education on in educational establishments. Parents cannot teach them in their homes.
Another question that may arise is what happens in the case of children with disabilities. In this case, is homeschooling possible? The answer is also no. In Costa Rica, special education, which is the name given to the education imparted to people with disabilities, is in charge of specialized professionals. Therefore, homeschooling is even less possible, because by law it needs to be taught by even more specialized professionals.
Of course, educational centers who teach special education must have all of the necessary accommodations to students with any type of disability. Additionally, they must give the students and their parents all the necessary information so they can comprehend, participate and support the educational purpose. In this case, parents are more involved, the degree of involvement is determined in each specific case, but it always be a professional specialized teacher leading the way. Parents can request any additional support resources that may be necessary in their child’s case. Teachers can go to homes or hospitals to impart classes, but parents cannot take over their child´s education.
Some costaricans don´t agree with this reality, and wish for homeschooling to be an option. A member of the last Congress, Ivonne Acuña, proposed a law project that works towards making homeschooling a reality. This law project argues that homeschooling allows students to form a greater affective bond with their parents, and allows children to focus more on their own interests. However, other people don´t agree, and think that homeschooling will discredit teachers as professionals, will reinforce utilitarian knowledge and that children will miss on all the learning moments outside of the academic world that are lived in school. At the end of the day, the reality is that this law project is very far from being a reality, and that for now homeschooling is not an option in Costa Rica.
Abarca, F. (2021). Ivonne Acuña proposes that education can be given at home by
Congress of Costa Rica. (1957). Fundamental Education Law.
Executive Power. (1998). Regulations of the Law on Equal Oportunities for People with
National Constituent Assembly. (1949). Political Constitution of Costa Rica.
Rubio Torres, C. (2021). School at home: “I educate my children”.