News and Facts about Cuba

Education Launches a New Offensive against the “Weekly Packet”

Launches a New Offensive against the “Weekly Packet” /
14ymedio, Orlando Palma
Posted on September 26, 2015

14ymedio, Orlando Palma, Havana, 25 September 2015 – Under the name To
Educate Yourself, the Ministry of Education announced Thursday a
collection of documentaries, films and music that it will begin
distributing monthly in its learning facilities during the current
academic year. In open competition with the weekly packet of
audio-visual material, this official rival seeks to establish itself as
“an attractive offering of Cuban education” through content of “good taste.”

The compendium is aimed at those among whom the weekly packet is a hit.
The majority of Cuban children and teens frequently watch cartoons,
video clips, series and films that are distributed on the black market.
In order to compete with those materials, the Ministry announces that
its offering has “a search engine so that the user is not lost searching
among more than a terabyte of data.”

The new product will include courses and tutorials for the self-study of
foreign languages, computation, , and masonry, as Barreto
detailed. Some materials will be accompanied by animated graphics and a
tool to display video, text and photos at the same time, reported the

However, the official announcement did not address how copyrights will
be managed on To Educate Yourself. Cuban television and national media
frequently overlook payment for rights to films, concerts and musical
recordings, especially those coming from the United States, which are
the majority.

Divided into folders, like its rival alternative, the file will contain
a section called Learn to Look with “expert commentaries and interesting
facts so that the young form critical judgment about what they are
watching,” Barreto specified.

The Cinesoft manager added that a second packet aimed at teachers and
entitled The Teaching Library will also be distributed every fifteen
days and will consist of books, articles and theses.

Given the serious material problems which plague labs in many of the
country’s learning centers, To Educate Yourself will include a
collection of virtual labs for Physics, Chemistry and Biology so that
“when [the students] truly perform the exercise, there will be less risk
that they will break some implement or spill a substance.”

This is not the first time that the government has tried to compete with
the weekly packet. Distribution in Youth Clubs of the Backpack, a
collection of audio-visual materials, began in August 2014; so far it
has had a poor popular reception.

Translated by Mary Lou Keel

Source: Education Launches a New Offensive against the “Weekly Packet” /
14ymedio, Orlando Palma | Translating Cuba –

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