- Modality provides real learning environments, and provides students with the skills required by the employer sector to enhance their professional development.
- We are starting with 12 students of Industrial Electronics from the Professional Technical School (Colegio Técnico Profesional – CTP) of Atenas, and 8 students of Web Development from the CTP of San Pedro de Barva.
- The first six companies to support the program in the MEP are the multinationals SMC Ltda., CooperVision and Abbott, in advanced manufacturing and medical devices; Accenture and Kaizen, in technology services and development; and the Costa Rican company Dos Pinos, in dairy and food.
- “This great national initiative encourages all young people to study and be part of the great workforce of this country,” said Alexandra Carvajal, Industrial Electronics student at the CTP of Atenas.
- “Since the beginning of this Administration, we committed to work for a Costa Rica with greater opportunities for all people and we have honored our words,” said the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, at the opening ceremony of the modality.
In this school year 2022, Costa Rica celebrates the opening of a new modality in the Ministry of Public Education (MEP): dual education, which combines classroom teaching with the implementation of skills in a company.
This is the first time that this type of education has been implemented in Costa Rican technical schools, after Law No. 9728 (Dual Technical Education and Training Law) entered into force, and after multiple preparations to make this new option possible.
The opening ceremony of this modality took place this Friday at the Coyol Free Zone, in Alajuela, with the participation of the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado; the Minister of Education, Steven González; the President of the Free Zone Association, Carlos Wong; as well as other government authorities, representatives of the companies involved, and participating students, among others.
This teaching process begins with 20 students in two technical specialties: 12 students of Industrial Electronics, which is taught at the Professional Technical School (Colegio Técnico Profesional – CTP) of Atenas, and 8 students of Web Development, which is offered at the CTP of San Pedro de Barva.
Currently, six companies are participating, three of them located in Alajuela’s Coyol Free Zone:
- SMC Ltd., .
- CooperVision and
- Abbott, companies engaged in the advanced manufacturing and production of medical devices.
Also participating are the Costa Rican company Dos Pinos, a dairy and food products cooperative, and the multinationals Accenture (located in Heredia), which provides services and technology, and Kaizen (in San José), which specializes in technology development and innovation.
The twenty students of this modality will learn with the “learning by doing” method, which allows them to be trained in two environments: a theoretical educational institution and, in addition, professional technical training in a company, sharing experiences and responsibilities, alternating times.
Dual education provides real learning environments and provides students with the skills required by the employer sector and those that enhance their personal and professional development, as well as their integration into society.
In addition, they receive trained guidance from qualified experts in high-demand trades, with updated curricula, policies, as well as a scholarship, thanks to the Special Fund of Scholarships for Dual Technical Education and Training (EFTP).
“Thanks to the dual education programs at the National Learning Institute and the Ministry of Education, students from different technical fields will be able to have higher quality technical education that is closer to the reality that companies require in Costa Rica. Since the beginning of this Administration, we committed to work for a Costa Rica with greater opportunities for all people and we have honored our words,” said the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, at the opening ceremony of this modality in the Coyol Free Zone, in Alajuela.
He also encouraged students to “make the most” of this new modality and urged more young people and more companies to continue to join dual education.
The Minister of Education, Steven González Cortés, said: “We work to provide an attractive offer and have innovative educational modalities as a country strategy, as this allows Costa Rica to increase its competitiveness by training the technical specialists that the economy needs. For students, it represents an opportunity to perform in different roles, as required by the parameters of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
For the implementation of the dual modality, the Directorate of Technical Education and Entrepreneurship Skills of the MEP has developed all the documentation, procedures, curricula and links with the productive sector.
Students graduating from this program will have the skills required by the business sector and those that enhance personal and professional development, thus facilitating their integration into society.
In turn, the companies have skilled personnel, equipment and infrastructure for the educational programs.
Other benefits are:
- Reduced costs in initial training, thanks to educational processes adjusted to the needs of the labor market.
- Decrease in the learning curve of the people hired.
- Reduction in recruitment costs.
- Access to human talent trained in the organization.
- Improvement of the productivity and quality of its services or products, thanks to skilled human resources, according to market needs.
Carlos Wong, managing director of Coyol Free Zone and Executive President of the Free Zone Association, said: “The cluster of Life Sciences companies is evolving towards the development of products designed and manufactured in Costa Rica, so we are committed to train as many human resources as possible. Thanks to dual education, young people willing to learn will find support in the companies of the park, which will allow us to increase their degree of specialization with strategy and vision to generate economies of scale.”
Alexandra Carvajal Astorga, Industrial Electronics student at the CTP of Atenas, is very proud to be part of the MEP’s dual modality. “This great national initiative encourages all young people to study and be part of the great workforce of this country. Dual vocational technical education and training leads us to prepare ourselves with what companies are asking for day by day,” said the young woman. She predicts that this will be a successful program that will grow for the good of Costa Rica.
In the future, this young woman, who fell in love with electronics when she saw her father fixing appliances, hopes to work in the medical supply industry.
Óscar Montero, also from the CTP of Atenas, believes he has the capacity and talent to be in companies like the ones that will cooperate in the program and are part of the Coyol Free Zone. “It would be a very important professional improvement for me,” he says.
Law No. 9728, the Dual Technical Education and Training Law, was passed on October 15, 2019, and its regulations on April 30, 2020, by Decree No. 42,307.
As of September 2020, the Advisory and Promotional Commission for Technical Vocational Education and Training, attached to the Ministry of Public Education, was created. The purpose of this commission is to promote Dual Technical Vocational Education and Training, to advise the competent authorities in the field and to achieve an articulation between the public and private sectors.
During 2020 and 2021, preparations were made for implementation, and this year, 2022, the new educational modality is already a reality.