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Language, Religion and Education

Language

pic1The official language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish, also called Castilian. Other languages, including English, French, German, Italian and Chinese, are spoken in different degrees. Of these, English is the most spoken or learned as a second language due to its significant presence in the island through tourism, American pop culture and Dominican-Americans.

There is also the recent boom in the popularity of English based on independent education English classes in theupper-middleclass and the elite. French and Haitian Creole, though unofficial, are spoken by an increasing number of the population. Spoken more frequently near the border with Haiti. Residents near the Haitian border, often have learned enough French to hold a conversation. Because of its ties with the United States, English has become an important tool in the business sector.

Religion

The Dominican Republic is 95.2% Christian, including Catholics and Protestants 88.6%, 4.2%. Recent immigration, but small scale, as well as proselytizing, has brought other religions, with the following shares of the population: Spiritist: 2.2%, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: 1.0% Buddhist: 0.10%, Baha ” j: 0.1%, Islam: 0.02%, Judaism: 0.01%, Chinese folk religion: 0.1%, and the Dominican Republic, Vudu (there is no census).

Columbus and Spanish missionaries introduced Roman Catholicism. Religion is not really the foundation of their society as a whole, as it was in other parts of the world at that time, and most people do not attend church regularly. However, most of the education in the country was based on the Catholic faith, as the Bible is required in the curricula of all public schools. Children who use based religious dialogue when greeting a relative or parent. For example: a child say, “Bless me, mother,” and the mother would reply “May God bless you.”

The country has two patron saints:  Nuestra Señora de La Altagracia and Nuestra Señora de Las Mercedes (Our Lady of Mercy) are the patronesses of the Dominican Republic.

Education

Primary education is obligatory and free for children between the ages of 5 and 14, although those who live in isolated areas have limited access to education. A two-year intermediate school follows primary schooling and a high school course of four years after which a diploma called the baccalaureate (high school diploma) is awarded.

Relatively few lower-income students succeed in reaching this level, due to financial difficulties and limitation due to location. Most of the wealthier students attend private schools, which are frequently sponsored by religious institutions. Some vocational schools are available public and private, in particular in the field of agriculture, but this too reaches only a small percentage of the population.

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