The Dominican educational system finds itself in a process of restructuring. The policies of recent years are attempting to revert the marginalization that affected education after the end of the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. Today the country recognizes its importance as a primary motor for development; therefore, it is attempting to dignify teachers, raise the quality of teaching methods and incorporate, at all levels, new advances in scientific and technological knowledge.
The results of the Encuesta Demográfica y de Salud ENDESA 2002 confirms three concrete positive effects produced by said measures that have been implemented since the beginning of the 90s:
|The proportion of uneducated people was reduced by half, reduced from 20% to 10% (1991-2002).|
|Increase in the median of years of education in the new generations, which vary between eight and nine years for people between 20 and 29 years old, in comparison to 3 or 4 years of schooling for the population over 50.|
|Reaffirmation of the tendency to improve the level of education of younger generationss.|
State policies with private participation aim toward increasing goals in the short, medium and long term. In February 2005, the Presidential Forum for Excellence in Dominican Education was inaugurated, which is a permanent platform led by the Secretariat of the State of Education, the Secretariat of the State of Higher Education, Science and Technology and the Instituto Nacional de Formación Técnico Profesional seeking to guide policies and programs that will allow the country to face the transformations and challenges that the new global knowledge society poses.
Through the forum, the government is attempting to widen educational coverage at all levels, to diminish the school and university drop-out rates, to attain effective resource management, to increase public and private investment in the area, to link science, technology and teaching, and to establish an enriching and harmonious relationship between national education and national production.
The plan includes the Fund for Academic Excellence Project, which will initially train 2000 to 3000 technicians and specialists in information technology; and the Institutos Técnicos Comunitarios (ITC), which will provide free higher technical education to low-income youth, taking into account the productive needs and realities of their respective communities.
At the same time, the public schools are intensifying English classes as a part of a project that looks to have all of the country’s students speaking English as a second language.