Education in the Dominican Republic is free and compulsory. There is a large selection of schooling options in the country and quality can be found in public, private, and religious schools. Along with the many options for grade school education, the Dominican Republic also offers a large selection for higher education, with curriculums linked to American and European programs.
The average growth percentage even in these moments of global financial crisis has maintained itself in a 5.8%, but this economic growth does not reflect in education, due to the lack of quality public investment.
Another great problem that the Dominican education system faces is the dropout factor. Only 75.8% of the 94.8% of students that enrol finish primary school, which signifies a 19% of dropouts every year. The Dominican Republic is trying to achieve the Millennium Development Goal, one of them being making the access to education universal.
The public sector is accountable for the most part of the education, and its’ major weakness is the allocation of resources. The resources tend to go towards the teachers’ wages, instead of going towards teachers’ education, faculty maintenance or purchasing supplies. A positive aspect indeed is on the other hand the high enrolment rate that we have experienced through the years. Currently there are an 88.2% of participation rates for primary school and a 62% rate in secondary school.
On 27th February 2013, the Dominican President, Danilo Medina, listed the first actions his government has taken to improve public education in the Dominican Republic. He inherited a country that is ranked in 143rd place on a list of 144 countries in quality of primary education by the World Economic Forum.
He highlighted policies that include the allocation of 4% to pre-university public education, the National Literacy Plan, longer hours for public education, construction of 10,000 classrooms and the opening of the San Luis Community College, built during the last administration. As an upcoming measure the government announced a National Plan designed to increase services to protect children between the ages of 0 and 5 and to consider the building of 100 new nurseries, and the same number of Community Centres with family networks. Also, by the end of 2016 the country would have 350 nurseries and 1,100 Community Centres serving 426,000 families and 528,000 children under the age of five. The government’s planning would also ensure that pre-primary education was available for 90% of five year olds.
There is a plan to extend the school day, more than 33,000 children are now in the system, which was proving successful and by next August that figure should be 200,000.
Due to the ranking of the Dominican education being one of the worst in Central America and the Caribbean, the business opportunities are endless. Especially since is not an enrolment issue, it’s more of the irrelevant results that come from a mediocre impartation of education.
Infrastructure: An elevated sum of classrooms, are overcrowded, resulting in a reduction to 2 hours of class per day. Aside from this matter, the school’s frameworks in general, are well under the standards. Ex: Gyms’, Chairs, Boards, Bathrooms, etc.
Training of Education Personnel: It is very important so that the growth in education is sustainable and to be able to achieve positive results for the system to have well trained personnel, with the tools needed to teach, inspire and impact the students.
Administrative Structure: As mentioned previously the allocation of resources is the educations system greater weakness. It is imperative for its growth to be able to control the diversion of the resources and focus them where they are needed.
Distribution of school supplies: There is a need for quality supplies at a low cost for this sector which can offer a reduction in schools budgets.
Specialised Schools: this is a sector that is growing in the country and, it is in need of diversity, since most of the specialised schools are dedicated to technology.
Getting into the market
If you are considering doing business in the Dominican Republic you may have already carried out preliminary research to ensure the best chance of success. However, there is no substitute for first-hand experience. That’s why UKTI Santo Domingo recommends a visit to the Dominican Republic in order to encounter business practice first-hand, meet business partners, and to experience the social and cultural differences which need to be understood to improve chances of success.
The Dominican Republic is a good market for SMEs and companies new to export. It is relatively easy to do business in the Dominican Republic. English is widely spoken and there is a modern business culture which fits well with North America and European practices.
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.
Leonora Dipp, British Embassy Santo Domingo. Tel: +1(809) 472 7054 or email: email@example.com.
Claudia Fulgencio, British Embassy Santo Domingo. Tel: +1(809) 472 7111 Ext.2032 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
None at present.