Dual education in Costa Rica
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The Law on Education and Technical Training governing dual education in Costa Rica was published in the country’s official newspaper, La Gaceta, in the fall of 2019.
On October 15, 2019, the Costa Rican Law on Dual Technical Education and Training was published in the country’s official newspaper La Gaceta, thus becoming the law of the Republic. This is the law that governs dual education in Costa Rica and allows for students over the age of fifteen to train in two areas of learning.
Dual education programs are carried out by an institution of Vocational Education and Technical Training, which can be either public or private and a training company, which must be authorized for this purpose.
Likewise, the dual education system in Costa Rica allows students to learn by doing. Participants in dual programs study in educational institutions that provide theoretical training while applying academic knowledge that has been gained in a practical way within a company. Students that participate in programs offering dual education in Costa Rica are guided by mentors that are certified by the country’s National Institute of Learning (INA).
The main objective of companies in nations that have implemented the dual education model is to train professionals, as well as to hire them when they finish their education. A successful example of this approach to a combined academic and technical education is embodied by the German program, which has been implemented through the Law on Technical Regulation since 1969.
Ideally, organizations that are involved in dual education in Costa Rica should make the most of all of the opportunities that they have to guide participating students within their particular field of study and to impart knowledge to them in the best way possible. This is done in order to secure trained human resources for the companies’ future.
Dual education in Costa Rica also represents a benefit to the country as it helps boost the economy and lower the youth unemployment rate.
It is important for companies to be aware that the purpose of the dual education program is to create a learning opportunity for students and with this to expand the possibilities of training new employees. The program has not been put into place by the Costa Rican government for the purpose of creating a pool of cheap labor resources.
Is there an employment relationship in dual education?
The law is clear in Article 16 which states that “The legal relationships arising from these agreements do not generate any employment relationship between the student and the company or training center.”
Other important points that should be considered when participating in the dual education program in Costa Rica are that:
- The student must not be enrolled with the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS).
- A special policy must be provided. The law that governs dual education in Costa Rica specifically establishes the “Special Work Risk Insurance for Dual Technical Training”.
- No wages or remuneration should be paid to the student.
Additionally, it will be necessary to have staff on the work premises that are certified by the INA or by natural or legal persons who have been accredited by the INA, so that they can serve as student mentors.
Finally, the law states that large companies participating in Costa Rica’s Dual Vocational Technical Training Education program must make monthly contributions to the INA Special Scholarship Fund. From the scholarship fund, each student receives one hundred and twenty thousand colons per month. This amounts to a stipend of approximately US $200.
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