The six-year compulsory school is free of
charge. Students start school at the age of seven. In
2009/2010, nine out of ten children started primary
school, but just under half went on to the next
five-year stage. The proportion attending school has
increased since the Sandinian government, which took
office in 2007, abolished the fees for school food and
textbooks and abandoned the requirement for school
After the 1979 revolution, the Sandinists succeeded
in increasing literacy through a large literacy
campaign, but after that the literacy increased again.
When the Sandinists returned to power, a new campaign, "Yo
puedo" (I can), was carried out following the Cuban
model. Because of this, illiteracy dropped from 21
percent in 2007 to just under 4 percent in 2009,
according to official figures. In 2012, however, the UN
Commission estimated Cepal that 30 percent of the
population could not read and write.
Allcitypopulation: Offers a list of biggest cities in the state of
Nicaragua, including the capital city which hosts major colleges and
Country facts of Nicaragua, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
According to human rights organizations and teachers'
unions, the Sandinian government controls education in a
political party. Over 3,000 teachers must have been laid
off since 2006 and replaced with government-loyal
teachers (see also Labor Market). State grants have
joined the children and children of FSLN members in the
party's youth movement. In several schools, students
have had to attend government-friendly meetings and FSLN-friendly
material has been used in teaching.
There are nine universities, four of which are state.
There are also many other higher education institutions,
most of them private.
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
97.0 percent (2010)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Reading and writing skills
78.0 percent (2005)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
17.9 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
17.9 percent (2016)
Costa Rica gets right in the border dispute
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) grants Costa Rica the right to the
disputed area of the San Juan River, based on an agreement of 1858. Nicaragua
is criticized for violating Costa Rica's right to use the river for
transportation. Managua accepts the outcome.
Cubans are closed off at the border
Border guards use tear gas and rubber bullets to prevent hundreds of Cuban
migrants from entering Costa Rica. The Cubans have made their way via Ecuador,
where they can travel without a visa, and through Colombia, Panama and Costa
Rica on their way north towards the United States. But Nicaragua refuses to let
in the Cubans, which soon causes a crisis in relations with neighboring
countries in the south.
Mining protests lead to unrest
Police are dispatched to regain control of the El Limón mine in León, where
hundreds of miners are protesting after three workmates have been dismissed for
violating internal rules. After a few weeks of unrest, the mine was temporarily
closed and the following day a police officer was killed and some 30 people
injured in the riots that ensued. The opposition and human rights groups speak
of police presence as "a siege".
Football leaders are prosecuted
The former head of Nicaragua's football association, Julio Rocha, is being
prosecuted in his home country for money laundering and corruption. He is one of
seven high-ranking members of the Fifa international union arrested in
Switzerland in May, in an acclaimed strike that US prosecutors were behind.
Rocha is in custody in Switzerland and will primarily be extradited to the
Opposition party threatens with boycott
The leading opposition party PLI threatens to boycott the elections in
November 2016 unless the government guarantees that it is carried out under free
conditions and with full transparency in the process.
Protest march against canal building
Thousands of protesters, mainly peasants, gather in the city of Juigalpa to
protest the construction of a canal through the country (see June 2013),
because of the feared environmental degradation and land expropriation. In
December, a demonstration was held in Managua, also in protest against
expropriation of land.
The duct construction is officially started
The construction of a canal through the country (see June 2013)
begins with a ceremony, although the excavation work itself is not expected to
start until 2016.
FSLN wins local elections on the Atlantic coast
The Sandinist Party's strong position is confirmed in elections to the two
autonomous regions on the Atlantic coast, with 52 percent of the vote in the
north and 48 percent in the south (see Political system). In the north, the
Yatama Miskito Party gets 21 percent and the South 7 percent, while PLC gets 19
percent in both regions. Yatama claims that cheating has occurred and ends his
cooperation with FSLN at the national level after the election.
Basic amendments abolish the ban on re-election
The National Assembly finally voted in favor of a constitutional change which
meant that the restrictions on the re-election of the president were abolished.
This means that Ortega can run for a fourth term in the 2016 presidential
election (see also October 2009 and Political system). The
constitutional reform also includes the abolition of the former requirement of
at least 35 percent of the vote for victory in a first round of presidential
elections, and that high-ranking military should be able to obtain public office
without ending in the military.