The Municipalidad de San José has handed out 250 backpacks to children in low-income areas in the central canton. School starts Thursday.
The backpacks conform to requirements of the Ministerio de Educación Pública. The investment was 5 million colons or about 20,000 colons per child, about $40 per backpack, said the municipality in a release.
The schools involved are Mauro Fernández Acuña, La Peregrina, Finca la Caja, República Dominicana, Miguel de Cervantes, Juan Rafael Mora Porras, Rafael Francisco Osejo, República de Haití and República de México.
This is the third year that the municipality has done this.
Even though education is supposed to be free, families sometimes struggle to come up with the required school supplies and uniforms for their children. These include backpacks.
The Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio estimated from a survey that a family would spend from about 40,000 to 100,000 colons on each child depending on the grade level. That is from $80 to $200. Informally parents report that they are spending much more this year.