Costa Rica 1949 Constitution (reviewed 2020)

Table of Contents

Title VII. The Education and the Culture

Sole Chapter

Article 76

Spanish is the official language of the Nation. However, the State will see to the maintenance and cultivation of the national indigenous languages.

Article 77

Public education will be organized as a complete [integral] process correlated in its various cycles, from the preschool to the university.

Article 78

The preschool, basic general and diversified education are obligatory and, in the public system, [are] gratuitous and financed [costeada] by the Nation.

For the State education, superior [education] included, the public expenditure will not be inferior to the annual eight percent (8%) of the gross domestic product, in accordance with the law, without prejudice to that established in Articles 84 and 85 of this Constitution.

The State will facilitate the technological access to all the levels of education, as well as the pursuit of superior studies to those without pecuniary resources. The conferral of the scholarships and the aids [auxilios] will be in charge of the Ministry of the branch, through the organ that the law determines.

Article 79

The freedom of teaching is guaranteed. However, all private educational centers will be under the inspection of the State.

Article 80

The private initiative in educational matter will merit stimulus from the State, in the form that the law indicates.

Article 81

The general direction of the official education corresponds to a superior council integrated as the law specifies, presided over by the Minister of the branch.

Article 82

The State will provide food and clothing to the indigent pupils, in accordance with the law.

Article 83

The State will sponsor and organize the education of adults, destined to combat illiteracy and to provide [a] cultural opportunity to those who wish to improve their intellectual, social and economic condition.

Article 84

The University of Costa Rica is an institution of superior culture that enjoys independence in the performance of its functions and of full juridical capacity to acquire rights and to contract obligations, as well as to give itself its own organization and government. The other institutions of university superior education of the State will have the same functional independence and equal juridical capacity as the University of Costa Rica.

The State will endow them with [their] own patrimony and will collaborate in their financing.

Article 85

The State will endow the University of Costa Rica, the Technological Institute of Costa Rica, the National University and the Universidad Estatal a Distancia with [their] own patrimony and will create for them [their] own income independently from those originated in these institutions. In addition, it will maintain–with the current income and other that would be necessary–a special fund for the financing of the State Superior Education.

The Central Bank of Costa Rica will administrate that fund and, each month, it will provide it in twelfths, to the order of the mentioned institutions, according to the distribution determined by the body responsible for the coordination of the University State Superior Education. The income of that special fund may not be abolished or diminished, without creating, simultaneously, other improvements to substitute them.

The body responsible for the University State Superior Education will prepare a national plan for this education, taking into account the guidelines established by the National Development Plan in force.

This plan must be concluded, at the latest, [on] the 30th of June of the years divisible by five and it will cover the immediately following five-year [mandate]. In it will be included, both the expenditures of operation and the expenditures of investment that are considered necessary for the good performance of the institutions mentioned in this Article.

The Executive Power will include, in the ordinary budget of expenditures of the Republic, the correspondent amount, specified in the plan, adjusted in accordance with the variation of the purchasing power of the currency.

Any dispute that may arise, with respect to the approval of the amount budgeted of the National Plan of State Superior Education, will be resolved by the Legislative Assembly.

Article 86

The State will train professional teachers through special institutions, of the University of Costa Rica and of the other institutions of university superior education.

Article 87

The freedom of professorship is [a] fundamental principle of the university teaching.

Article 88

For the discussion and approval of bills of law relative to the matters placed under the competence of the University of Costa Rica and of the other institutions of university superior education, or directly related to them, the Legislative Assembly must previously hear the University Council or the directive organ corresponding to each one of them.

Article 89

[The following] are among the cultural objectives of the Republic: to protect the natural beauties, to preserve and to develop the historic and artistic patrimony of the Nation and to support the private initiative for scientific and artistic progress.