Within the Constitution of the Dominican Republic, the chapter of Fundamental Rights recognises the universal right to full-time quality education. Thus, the State guarantees a public, free and obligatory education system for elementary school, middle school and high school.
The General Law of Education of 1997 sets out the basis of education in the Dominican Republic. It guarantees the irrevocable right to education to everybody within the Dominican Territory. Moreover, the Dominican Republic is aware that the education of its young citizens is the key to healthy growth and a high standard of living. With this in mind, the government is committed to investing at least 4% of the GDP in education every year.
The educational system in the Dominican Republic is divided into four levels:
1. Initial level (Elementary School): The State is obliged to offer it for free. The main goal is to prepare students for the basic level.
2. Basic level (middle school): The State is obliged to offer it for free. This level is mandatory. The main goal is to develop basic skills within all academic areas.
3. Medium level (high school): This level offers general tools to help students to fit in to the professional world or continue their studies at the higher education level. Students can choose a specialisation (General, Technical-professional, Arts, Special). The State is also obliged to offer this level of education for free.
4. Higher education (university): Every year the State offers national and international scholarships for bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as PhD programs and other specialised studies.