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Dominican Republic Education and Training



Formally, compulsory schooling is between the ages of 5 and 14, which includes one year of preschool. Despite this, fewer than half of the children attend preschool and just over a third never finish their eight-year primary school. After elementary school there is the opportunity to study for four years at the upper secondary level.

Most children start school at age 6. However, many spend just a few hours a day at school, due to such things as a lack of educated teachers and great congestion. Among those who leave school early are mainly children from poor families who have to help at home or work to contribute to their livelihood. One in four girls quits because they are pregnant.

  • Allcitypopulation: Offers a list of biggest cities in the state of Dominican Republic, including the capital city which hosts major colleges and universities.
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The school system in the Dominican Republic had a long reputation for being the worst in the region and the share of the budget spent on education was one of the lowest in the world. The teachers are underpaid, which attracts few to the profession, and the curricula are outdated. President Danilo Medina, who took office in 2012, promised to build 18,000 new classrooms, double the education's share of the budget, and arrange for all children to have eight hours of school day. Many improvements have also been made, but among other things, many teachers have had difficulty filling out the extra teaching hours with sensible activities. In the fall of 2015, the World Bank allocated 50 million US dollars for school reform over a five-year period. Above all, better investment in teacher education would be required.

President Medina also launched a literacy campaign in 2013, with the goal that all adults would learn to read and write, which, according to the president, led to half a million Dominicans learning to read and write in one year.

The state school is free of charge but those who can afford send the children to private schools. Children of Haitian immigrants, even those born in the Dominican Republic, often are not allowed to attend school because they lack identity documents (see Political system).

In the capital Santo Domingo there are several universities. The state-owned Universidad Autónoma, with several branches around the country, originated in the oldest university in the Western Hemisphere, founded in 1538. There are also several private colleges. Universities are also located in Santiago in the north and in San Pedro de Macorís in the east.

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Proportion of children starting primary school

92.9 percent (2017)

Number of pupils per teacher in primary school

19 (2016)

Reading and writing skills

93.8 percent (2016)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP

12.6 percent (2007)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget

12.6 percent (2007)



Security forces are accused of criminal links

Independence Day's military parade is canceled after military and police are linked to organized crime and drug trafficking.



Jail against bank owner established

The Supreme Court decides against the bank Baninter's owner and chairman, Ramón Báez Figueroa, sentenced to ten years in prison for crimes that led to the bank collapsing and the whole country being thrown into an economic and political crisis (see Modern History).



60,000 are evacuated after Hurricane Olga

A new hurricane, Olga, is moving across the country. Forty people are killed while 60,000 are evacuated.


Disaster after Hurricane Noel

Hurricane Noel claims close to 90 lives and drives 50,000 people to escape from their homes.


ID check threat to Haitians

The Election Authority urges civil servants to carefully examine ID documents to be renewed or registered, as they may have been issued on incorrect grounds. In practice, this leads thousands of Dominicans of Haitian origin to get their ID documents failed. Thus, they will be considered paperless and can be deported at any time. They also lose their right to vote, are denied education and cannot get formal employment.

Free Trade Agreement with USA

A free trade agreement with the US enters into force, which strengthens the economic upturn.



PLD victorious in parliamentary elections

The PLD government wins the parliamentary election and gets over half the mandate.



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