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San José, Costa Rica -  Tuesday 07 February 2012

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Costa Rica: Back To School Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 8,  is back to school in Costa Rica, as almost a million students head back for the classroom for the 2012 school year.

One of the concerns being expressed by the Ministerio de Educación Pública (MEP) and the Hospital Nacional de Niños (HNN) - Children's hospital - is the good health of the children, reminding parents that it depends on the integral work between parents and schools.

"Schools should be prepared to meet any eventuality, they must also have very good hygiene to avoid spreading infections," said Orlando Urroz, sub-director of the HNN.

The doctor also recommended that both schools and parents should be aware of the spread of infections that occur in the community and to prevent these from spreading and infecting the children.

Another aspect that Urroz gives vital importance to is to instill in children the correct way of coughing and sneezing and wash hands immediately to prevent viruses from spreading.

Meanwhile Leonardo Garnier, the Minister of Education, asks parents not to send sick children to school to avoid possible infection of other students.

"Infections, whether viruses such as respiratory or varicella have their incubation period and it is best to keep childre at home until they recover, to avoid spreading it to other colleagues", Urroz said.

Another concern for the Education ministry is the safety of transportation for the children.

To that end the Policia de Tránsito (traffic police) will be vigilant of vehicles that carry school children and will be holding spotchecks to ensure that the school vehicles are equipped to regulation and have the required permits on hand.

Tránsito is also calling on all parents to report school vehicles that do not meet the requirements, all for the safety of children, given that the Consejo de Transporte Publico (CTP) reports that 20% of all school vehicles do not have permits or meet the established requirements.

The Fuerza Pública will also be on full alert in an around schools starting tomorrow, to ensure a safe back to school.

The 2012 school year ends in December.





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