There is 8 years of compulsory schooling for children
between the ages of 7 and 14 in the Dominican Republic.
Almost all children attend elementary school, 66% of
school age attends 4-year high school, and 11% take higher
education. There are a number of universities and colleges
in the country. Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Dominican Republic.
The first university was established in 1538 and was the
first university in America. Most universities and colleges
in the country today are private.
16% of the adult population is estimated to be
In 2001, a court of appeals in Santo Domingo paused a
lawsuit against President Salvador Jorge Blanco, who was
accused of corruption.
After a wave of crime and abductions, President Mejía
sent the military on the streets to curb developments that
threatened the country's tourism - its main source of
In November 2001, a plane from American Airlines crashing
from New York to Santo Domingo crashed into suburban Queens.
Among the 255 killed, 150 were Dominicans.
Finally, in July 2002, Joaquin Balaguer, aged 95, died.
He had been the president of the country in 20 of these.
After several months of demonstrations, a general strike
was carried out in November 2003. Police arrested several
hundred and six were killed. Mejía declared that he would
respond again "without pity" to the disruption of the
country's law and order.
In December 2003, Hurricane Odette caused 10,000 people
to be evacuated. The Civil Defense urged people in the
vulnerable areas to leave their homes, but most had nowhere
else to seek refuge. The threat of hurricanes is constant in
the country, and especially for the people of the coastal
On May 17, 2004, PLD candidate Leonel Fernández Reyna was
elected president already in the first round of the
presidential election. Fernández thanked his counterpart,
Hipólito Mejía, for declaring his final defeat, and at the
same time honored to be able to take over the government.
The first figures from the Supreme Election Commission
indicated that Mejías PRD had gained 31% of the vote.
Fernandez's electoral victory was a clear expression of the
Dominicans' punishment on Mejía, who could not cope with the
severe economic crisis that occurred in 2003 when one of the
country's largest banks collapsed.
That same month, heavy rains for two weeks caused the
rivers to cross their banks and large areas were flooded,
costing over 500 dead and 13,000 missing. The corn harvest
was completely lost and thousands of Dominicans lost their
homes. Jimani in the country's southeast corner was worst
hit, but the climate disaster also hit Haiti.
In May 2005, the representative of the ILO International
Program for the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC) stated
that 436,000 children aged 5-17 are allowed to use their
labor force daily in the Dominican Republic. The most
difficult conditions for child laborers are found in the
countryside, where 18.4% of children doing adult work are
located. Many children start working in agriculture as young
as 5-6 years old. At this age, working affects both their
health and their development.