Some elementary and high schools in Costa Rica function without sufficient text books, desks or even electricity. The problem exists particularly in rural regions.
On Monday, the government took a step toward helping those disadvantaged when President Laura Chinchilla signed a $167.5 million trust that, if passed in the Legislative Assembly, will help improve the nation’s educational infrastructure.
“We are here to sign a bill that will provide immediate financing and resources to educational infrastructure that can’t wait 20 years,” Chinchilla told an audience at the El Pacto del Jocote High School in Alajuela, northwest of San José, on Monday. “For that we propose that a trust that will allow us to provide the resources that we need.”
Chinchilla said that the funding for the trust would most likely be provided by national banks, international financial bodies or development banks, and private companies.
If the trust is approved by the Legislative Assembly, the funds will be distributed amongst 79 schools, and will attend to urgent infrastructural needs, such as clean drinking water, electricity, cafeterias and school supplies. The funds will also be used to construct 24 multi-purpose sport and recreation fields. An estimated 27,000 students are expected to benefit from the improved resources.
Chinchilla urged the Legislative Assembly to pass the bill as quickly as possible and avoid bureaucratic disputes that could slow the process.
“Who in Costa Rica will dare to say no to this investment?” Chinchilla asked. “From here, the only thing lacking is for legislators to stand tall and say that Costa Rican education needs this money. This trust is going to benefit all the schools and high schools in the country.”