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The Nicaraguan Constitution guarantees the right to education,[1] and this constitutional right is further regulated by the General Law on Education promulgated in 2006.[2]  Under the Constitution, the state has an unavoidable duty to provide education without exclusion, and to improve, expand, and strengthen it.[3]

Specifically, the Constitution provides that

  • the state has a duty to educate and train, at all levels and specialties, the professional and technical personnel necessary for the development and transformation of the country;[4] 
  • access to elementary and high-school education must be free and equal to all Nicaraguans in state-run schools;[5]
  • elementary school attendance is compulsory;[6]
  • no one may be excluded from state schools for economic reasons;[7]
  • the continuation of programs to eradicate illiteracy is mandatory;[8]
  • the indigenous people and ethnic communities of Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast have the right to intercultural education in their mother tongue within their region;[9]
  • adults have the right to be educated and develop skills through training and development programs;[10]
  • universities and centers of superior technical education must be financed by the state and must receive an annual contribution of 6% of the country’s general budget, with the possibility of additional allocations for extraordinary expenses;[11]
  • academic freedom is guaranteed;[12]
  • universities and centers of superior technical education enjoy academic, financial, and administrative autonomy;[13]
  • the right to establish private educational services is guaranteed;[14] and
  • private religious centers of education have the right to teach religion as an extracurricular matter.[15]

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Prepared by Norma Gutierrez
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
May 2016


[1] Constitución Política de la República de Nicaragua art. 58, La Gaceta, Jan. 9, 1987, available as amended through 2014 at http://www.asamblea.gob.ni/constitucion/Libro_Constitucion.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/ 8RVE-KMUU.   

[2] Ley General de Educación, Ley No. 582 of Mar. 22, 2006, La Gaceta, Aug. 3, 2006, http://legislacion.asamblea. gob.ni/normaweb.nsf/($All)/B2FBC86E5FD975420625755B00765A99?OpenDocument, archived at https://perma. cc/DDG2-N82D.

[3] Constitución Política arts. 105, 109.

[4] Id. art. 119. 

[5] Id. art. 121.

[6] Id.

[7] Id.

[8] Id. art. 122.

[9] Id. art. 121. 

[10] Id. art. 122.

[11] Id. art. 125.

[12] Id.

[13] Id.

[14] Id. art. 105.

[15] Id. art. 124.