In Cuba There are Fewer Rural Schools Than in 1958
In Cuba There are Fewer Rural Schools Than in 1958 / Dora Leonor Mesa
Posted on December 7, 2014
The urban centers have been submitted to systematic closure since 1973,
although the worse period has been under the Government of Raul Castro.
In 2012, in the Las Tunas town of Majibacoa, the People’s Power delegate
Sirley Avila Leon put a face on a grave national problem: the constant
reduction of schools on the part of the regime in Havana, due to, among
other causes, the demographic situation, and the country’s economic reality.
Ávila León suffered all kinds of pressures when she complained about the
closure of the only school in her area. Then, there were few general
facts about the dismantling of one of the Castro regime’s propaganda
Today, the figures speak for themselves, even those that the National
Office of Statistics conservatively publishes. According to the study
group Foresight Cuba, that investigates and contextualizes the official
data, the number of schools increased at the beginning of the 1960s, but
decreased rapidly starting in 1973-1974.
From that moment on, there has been a systematic closure of schools,
with a great acceleration since the year 2007. During the course of
2013-2014, there were 9,482 schools functioning, the study indicated,
based upon government data.
Primary Schools — as much urban as rural — increased from 7,567 in the
period 1958-1959, up to 15,547 in 1974-1975. “From this moment on, they
started to decrease to 6,842 in the period 2013-2014. The government of
Raul Castro has accelerated the closure of schools; in the period
2008-2009 there were 8,999 primary schools. “
The languishing country
The biggest decrease was in the number of rural schools, “Now there are
fewer rural schools (4,729) than in 1958, when there were 4,889″
facilities in these areas, added Foresight Cuba.
“It is something that I have seen here where I love, in the municipality
of Song-La Maya (Santiago de Cuba)”, assured the ex-university professor
Hergues Frandin. “For example, in La Meca, Alto Songo, they closed the
school and now the children have to travel up to 8 kilometers on foot,
back and forth.”
Dora Leonor Mesa, president of the independent Cuban Association for the
Development of Children’s Education, indicated that many rural schools
are located in remote areas, with only one or two students.
“There is an important population decrease, that influences the quantity
of students of school age. In these rural areas, different levels study
mixed together in the same classroom”, explained Mesa.
Foresight Cuba also remembered that in the 1990-1991 school year, there
were 2,70 functioning secondary schools in the country, but since then,
the number has decreased to 1,941 in the school year 2008-2009. After
that, somewhere around 500 schools were closed, and in the school year
2013-2014, there were only 1,434 middle schools.
Amending Fidel Castro
The statistical series reveals that the number of higher education
schools increased from 3 to 68 throughout these years.
The 3,150 universities created in the school year 2005-2006, in the
context of the propaganda program known as “The Battle of Ideas”, they
were also mostly closed during the 2008-2009 academic year. Today, only
“The enrollment in the municipal sites was reunified in central
universities, due to the deficit of teachers and material conditions”
said Frandin. In this case, the ex-professor indicated that “It’s a
good thing that they have been removed, because it didn’t make sense to
have universities in the municipalities”.
In summary, and taking into account that some facilities have been
closed because of being in very bad condition, Dora Leonor Mesa pointed
out that “Cuba really never had good schools”.
“A good classroom should count on technology and capable professors, as
well as friendly conditions for the child. That does not exist in Cuba”,
Michel Suarez | Madrid | 15 Oct 2014
Published in http://www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1413398150_10830.html
Translated by: BW
14 November 2014
Source: In Cuba There are Fewer Rural Schools Than in 1958 / Dora Leonor
Mesa | Translating Cuba –