By William Monge Jiménez - School of Education Student
It is important to ask, does the Costa Rican education system try to implement literature in the best way using the correct and modern needs for students? For a long period, Costa Rica has been one of the most developed countries in the educational system, but as the years pass by, it needs to look for good ways to face the new challenges and technology of the 21st century for the welfare of its population (especially children), taking into consideration the importance of literature not only as part of the Spanish subject but rather as a habit that everyone should acquire in their daily life.
Since the entry of the new century, the Costa Rican education system has seen the need for a structural change in the Spanish teaching programme, which incorporates the promotion of literature. This is mentioned by the Ministerio de Education Pública (MEP) (2013) when they say that the syllabus aims to value literature as a resource for enjoyment, the development of creativity and learning: it is not a matter of "learning the book by memory" but of appropriating it as we appropriate musical or plastic works. This exemplifies that there is, indeed, an interest to improve student learning in this aspect. Equally, it can be seen in modern syllabuses of the Ministry that there is an almost annual review of possible obligatory and non-obligatory readings to be given in classes.
Literature is a skill that is acquired from an early age. This is where the role of parents in educating their children becomes important for their future. The problem is that not all parents or caregivers have the dedication or the time to do it. Often the parents themselves have not had any formal education and can barely read and write. Added to this problem is the idea that in today's world there are many more distractions than ever before. In a society characterized by the excessive use of electronic devices that are easily distracting, young people do not find reading interesting. In addition, not all education systems of all countries are properly integrated with modern demands, as Singh (2018) points out when he says that "society is changing at an alarmingly accelerating pace but schools remain lethargically stuck with structures that took place in the 19th".
In this whole process teachers have a crucial role to play in instilling in students a love of reading and their cognitive comprehension, as it is not only about reading, students must learn to analyze texts from different points of view. Costa Rica, for its part, and as mentioned above, maintains a strong interest in the education of its population, and seeks to recruit good teachers with skills focused on modernization. The government has maintained its constant support for activities that promote reading, such as those commemorating Book Day, the use of national and international readings, fairs, access to free literature and, currently, literature in digital format, etc.
In conclusion, it can be said that Costa Rica has been able to manage the organization of its curricula related to literature, the country is striving to modernize and is at the forefront of pro-reading thinking. Even so, it is a process that evolves from year to year, facing new challenges such as the current one, as a consequence of the health crisis that forced the suspension of face-to-face classes. In the end, literature will have a hope of remaining important if young people are properly educated to use it as a tool for creativity, knowledge, constructive criticism, and related skills.
MOXIE es el Canal de ULACIT (www.ulacit.ac.cr), producido por y para los estudiantes universitarios, en alianza con el medio periodístico independiente Delfino.cr, con el propósito de brindarles un espacio para generar y difundir sus ideas. Se llama Moxie - que en inglés urbano significa tener la capacidad de enfrentar las dificultades con inteligencia, audacia y valentía - en honor a nuestros alumnos, cuyo “moxie” los caracteriza.
Ministerio de Educación Pública (MEP). (2013). Programa de Estudio de Español. https://www.mep.go.cr/sites/default/files/programadeestudio/programas/espanol2ciclo.pdf
Singh, R. (2018). Educational Challenges in 21st Century and Sustainable Development. https://ejournal.upi.edu/index.php/JSDER/article/view/12266/7323.