Global evidence points to the fact that access to education and likelihood to live in poverty are interrelated. National data in the Dominican Republic also reflects this reality, as poor children (ages 5‐17) are nearly twice as likely not to attend school as non‐poor children (11% versus 6%). In 2008, roughly 22,000 adolescents ages 10‐14 were not enrolled in school, despite the fact that primary school attendance is mandatory. Lack of birth certificate, limited access to uniforms and supplies, and parents who involve children in work or care for younger brothers or sisters are some of the reasons for which they do not attend school.
Despite the fact that evidence points to the need for investment in the Education sector, the Dominican Republic invests a mere 1.9% of its GDP in Education, putting it as the bottom four Latin American countries in terms of education investment. In the global education competitiveness index, the DR occupied the 137th place out of 139 countries.
The country’s public Education system suffers from inadequate infrastructure, limited hours of productive class instruction and lack of continued training and education for teachers and administrators, resulting in poor quality of instruction. The growth of public education infrastructure has not kept pace with rising enrollment which has diminished learning and limited further expansion of access.
Focus of CSA’s Education efforts
The overall objective of CSA’s interventions in Education is to help to ensure that every child in the Dominican Republic has access to quality education. Work is focused on strengthening the public schools system in partnership with the Ministry of Education in the following areas:
- Improvement of school infrastructure
- Teacher training and coaching, including creation of didactic materials.
- Facilitation of educational summer camps
- Strengthening the use of standardized tools for student assessment and school performance.
CSA supports multiple initiatives focused on education. These projects include:
- Mi Vida en Juego: Project that uses sports as a hook to engage youth in education and development.
- Alerta Joven: Support to youth living in batey Lecheria to return to school, improve performance and gain access to vocational training and employment.
- Support to elementary schools in Puerto Plata: Improvement of infrastructure, teacher training and mentoring to improve access and quality of education in rural Puerto Plata.
 Jackman, D. (2011). Dominican Republic: Es p’lante que vamos? Latin American Bureau.