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Cuban education is in crisis, study says

Cuban is in crisis, study says
Posted on Tue, Oct. 23, 2007
El Nuevo Herald

Cuban education is passing through its deepest crisis, and the reforms
proposed by in recent years have only worsened the
situation, according to a study by a group of Cuban and Slovak
specialists unveiled in Miami.

The study, What is the future of education in Cuba?, gathers criticism,
suggestions and proposals for a future educational reform and was
carried out by the Slovak-based People in Peril, which since 2005 has
been working with teachers and parents on the island.

''Cuban education is destroyed, with grave problems like the
deterioration of the schools, the predominance of ideology over teaching
and the bad preparation of teachers,'' Eliska Slavikova said Monday. She
coordinated the study with Suzana Humajova, who visited the island in
2006 and met with teachers, Christian groups and others.

The two women recognized the difficulties of analyzing the Cuban system
in depth, because the statistics offered by the Education Ministry “do
not come from reality, but from the formations in a [government] plan.''

But their 77-page study, presented Monday at the of Miami's
Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies, alleged the following:

• There's been a ''pronounced'' departure of teachers to other jobs
because of low salaries and the lack of social recognition.

• Many teachers also left their jobs because of the government's growing
ideological pressures. The primary objective of education is the
formation of future revolutionary communists.

• The great majority of schools lack the equipment and installations
needed to provide a good education.

• High graduates have been put to teach after only an eight-month
special course. But much of the teaching now is done through educational
TV channels.

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