Image for illustrative purposes.
Image for illustrative purposes.

QCOSTARICA – In Costa Rica there are 147,959 young people aged between 15 and 24 who neither study nor work. They are called ninini estudia ni trabaja – in Spanish.

However, in 2012, there were 10.000 less nini’s, according to the State of the Region report, published in 2015.

Related: Most “Nini” Live In 10 Cantones Outside the Metropolitan Area, Says Comptroller

A research conducted throughout Central America by the State of the Nation Program (PEN), attached to the National Council of Rectors (Conare) says a large part of this population is poor and live in rural areas.

Another conclusion reached by the study is that most of them did not choose to be in the condition, rather lack opportunities to have a different life, explained Alberto Mora, coordinator of the report.

The analysis places the young population of the country in four categories: ninis, those who only study, those who only work, and those who work and educate themselves at the same time.

Mora explained that the latter group is also at risk, because if their families face a severe economic need, they will leave the classrooms to provide more income for the family.

The report also identified gender gaps. For example, although on average women studying longer, but find it difficult to obtain employment. In addition they are expected to carry out unpaid domestic work.

The report also indicated that not working or studying and living in poverty, in many cases, becomes a cycle.

The State of the Region report found that it is normal for those not studying are repeating the story of their parents, who also never had the opportunity to study. On the contrary, the highest proportion of young people studying live in households were parents also had a formal education.

This trend calls into question the quality of life that these young people can have in the future, since, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal). The Cepal says an adult should have at least 12 years of education to reduce the risk of living in poverty..

In the region, Costa Rica is the country that has managed to reduce the number of ninis, based on 2001 data.

For that year there were 168,000 boys considered nini, who represented 22% of the population between 15 and 24 years. In 2005, the figure dropped to 160,000 (19%), dropping to 157,000 in 2012 (18%), and by 2014, 147,959 (17%).

Mora considers largely that the improvement is due to the implementation of programs such as Avancemos, Yo me apunto and Empléate.

Despite these programs, for Mora, the country should expand the coverage of formal education, and provide more training options in areas where the demand for workers is high. For example, those related to information technology (IT).

Source La Nacion


  • I had a quest when coming to CR a couple of decades ago—to teach English. I put up a sign in front of my house: FREE ENGLISH LESSONS. Everyone who came expressed a burning desire to learn the language—but made zero effort to do so. Since then I made close friends asking for instruction, but had largely the same negative result. They all seem to expect a hypodermic needle filled with English. After spending years studying the public education system, the reasons are obvious. Personal responsibility is non-existent here.

    How can people learn to learn/practice on their own when they are never even taught to get off the road when a car is coming? My ex-wife’s father told his 13 children that: “Education is stupid. There is no reason to go to school.” For him that was true, as he made his living swinging a machete. Most signs in front of law offices say: ENGLISH SPOKEN, but all they know is HELLO & GIVE ME MONEY.

    In my opinion the route to all this is Government policy of hiring people on any basis but ability & giving them full authority with no responsibility. A prime example is Obama hiring a friend of Michelle’s to do the Obamacare website for millions of dollars—then paying billions to others to make it work. For that reason we say: ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY.