Editorial-School Infrastructure Material Failing in Nicoya

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This February, many kids will enter classrooms excited to begin a new school year, and although young school-age children don’t give much thought to the facilities, they couldn’t imagine that the ceiling of the hallways could fall on them either, let alone would someone imagine this happening in a new school within less than a year from when the construction was finished.

Unfortunately, this is the situation faced by students and teachers at Leonidas Briceño School in Nicoya, who have to begin classes with the risk that the drop ceiling that extends through the hallways is threatening to fall into the passageway.

The school was completely rebuilt in November of 2013 by CBC construction company for the amount of ¢866,741,275 (about $1,635,360). However, in less than a year, locks, sewers, pipes, pieces of the toilets and now also the drop ceiling have needed replacement.

And although the school’s Board of Education assured that the company, for the moment, has taken responsibility for repairs and costs, it seems reproachable that such costly work has to be fixed in such a short amount of time.

Unfortunately, the material of school infrastructure is failing in Nicoya. And there are quite a few educational institutions in the canton whose facilities are in poor condition and some will even begin this school year outside of the classroom or in makeshift classrooms.

Such is the case for the schools of Las Pozas and Corralillo in the district of San Antonio, which will begin holding classes outside their premises because the original structures lack the minimum conditions to operate, according to a report from the regional office of the Ministry of Education (MEP).

And if that wasn’t enough, the schools of San Martin, Samara and Nambi are beginning 2015 without the operating permit required by the Ministry of Health.

Considering these circumstances and the history of damages accumulated after the earthquake in 2012, we are concerned that young students are taking classes in such deplorable and dangerous conditions.

In addition, we are concerned that there hasn’t been any clear communication from the Department of Infrastructure and Educational Equipment (DIE) of MEP regarding what they are going to do to remedy the situation.

The effectiveness of education is not only measured by the quality of instruction but also by the conditions in which it is given.