Misconception: There is a lack of quality education in Nicaragua.
Brief History: Did you know, Nicaragua has a strong history of focusing on education? Nicaragua was the first country in Central America to have a University, UNAN “Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua”, it was established in the city of León. Nicaragua is also the first country in Central America to have a masters degree level education program under the Harvard Business School umbrella. This program is known as INCAE and there are now INCAE programs in many countries in Latin america.
Today, Nicaragua has many incredible options for schooling. For the purpose of this website, I will only mention some of the amazing schools in the capital city, Managua but will expand more so on the schools available in and around San Juan del Sur.
Most Public Schools in Nicaragua run on a different schedule than North American schools. Many Private schools choose to run on a more North American schedule. This is an important question you must ask directors of school before choosing a specific program.
Brief Explanation of general details to know about Local Public Schools:
- The school year typically begins in February and ends in December
- Kids typically begin pre K at 3 years of age and enter Kindergarten at 5
- Primary School is grade 1 through grade 6
- High School is 1st year through 5th year (of high school)
- Total grade school years are 11
- School day is split in two 7am to 12:30 and 1pm to 5;30pm each school decides is elementary will take AM or PM shift.
- All local public school buildings have double occupancy, meaning kids go to school in the morning or afternoon, not both.
Managua, the Capital city of Nicaragua, has a number of excellent school options, among the best known are: American Nicaragua School, Lincoln Academy, Escuela Marie Curie. There are also incredible schools whose primary learning languages English, French, German and Mandarin.
The National Board of Education is called “Ministerio de la Educación” also known as MINED. This Ministry certifies and regulates the education plan for all schools in Nicaragua. Both the Public and Private School systems must follow the same education plan to ensure that all children are receiving the same topic at any given time. Schools are allowed to cover additional material once the base program requirements have been met.
In San Juan del Sur proper, there are both public and private schooling options. The exponential growth in tourism has brought a need for Education in English. There are now options for English based education:
San Juan del Sur Day School is an incredible school that takes adventures in learning to a whole new level. Founded in 2010, the Day School has come a long way in 10 short years. Making San Juan del Sur, not only a viable option but one that makes this town incredibly attractive to families from all over the world.
Escuela Adelante a wonderful option for families looking to complement their home schooling programs. This school has a great program that supports home schooling families and help children integrate more into to the local culture and community.
Keiser University is higher education program, at the university level and in 2019, they began offering masters level programs.This is a US based University, with a campus physically located in Nicaragua
We area also happy to report that there is a well established private school named Stella Maris located right off the central square of town. This school is Co-ed and has all grade from Pre K up to ‘Quinto Año’ a.k.a. fifth year.