School systems worldwide - Dominican Republic

Schulsysteme Weltweit

We at Natureich are very interested on this blog in early childhood education and general topics that show how children grow up in all their facets.

Since school is an important part, not only to gain knowledge, but also to strengthen social interaction, in this part we look at the Dominican Republic and what differences there are to our German school system and our European view of education.

In the Dominican Republic, there is compulsory schooling one year before starting school. Since children start school at the age of 6, just like in Germany, children have to spend the last year in kindergarten.

Although the school is free of charge, in rural areas it is unfortunately also part of the reality that there are not schools everywhere or that the nearest school is too far away for the children. This means that schooling is compulsory, but this is not strictly followed as in Germany.

The Dominican government, however, has recognized this problem and has been working for years to reform the education system and to bring the standards into line with the other countries in Latin America.

General compulsory schooling ends at the age of 14 and is therefore not based on completing a certain number of school years, as is the case in Germany, for example.

Studium Dom

How is it possible to study?

To obtain the general university entrance qualification, it takes 12 school years.

These are divided into the eight-year lower level (Nivel Básico) and a four-year general or vocational upper level (Nivel Medio).

The grades are expressed in letters from A (Excelente), B (Muy bueno), C (Bueno), D (Deficiente). A D is obtained when you have achieved a maximum of 69% and the exam is assessed as not having been passed.

This is very strict compared to the German grading, since with us mostly 50% or as in the Dominican Republic up to 1994 60% is sufficient to pass.

There are a total of 32 colleges and universities in the Dominican Republic. Four of them have a special technical focus. In order to be accepted into a university, in addition to formal criteria, it is also important to speak Spanish, as most subjects are usually taught in Spanish.

Since the vast majority of universities are state-run, students only have to pay a very low tuition fee.

Private schools are widespread

For those for whom the state school is not enough or who have sufficient financial leeway, there is, in addition to the state school ("escuela"), the option of sending their children to a so-called "colegio", i.e. a private school run by the private sector or religious communities in which it is also common for nuns to teach the children.

The costs for private schools vary widely but are usually paid monthly.

It is therefore advisable to have a secure income. Because if you fail to pay, the children will be expelled from school and torn from their familiar surroundings.

Many of the private schools are now "bilingual", which means that English is usually spoken in addition to Spanish. This suits children of immigrants.

Natureich Fische


The biggest difference to our German school system is actually the high proportion of private schools. We are pleased that studies can be started inexpensively and that the cost of living is kept within limits. Thus, it is theoretically possible to strive for a relatively barrier-free higher educational qualification without, for example, having to be highly at fault.


Read more blogs about the Dominican Republic - here.

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