More than 1.7 million students will go to Cuban classrooms in the 2019-2020 school year, which will begin on September 2, according to Cuban Minister of Education Ena Elsa Velázquez.
Velázquez said that, of the total enrollment, 65,000 students will be in the boarding school regime and 761,000, in semi-boarding schools, while the number of educational institutions that will open their doors will exceed 10,700, the daily Granma reported this Monday.
As for teachers, it is expected that there will be more than 162,000 teachers, which would reach a teaching coverage of 95%. The rest, said the minister, will be completed with “the use of alternatives,” such as part-time hiring and teachers working more hours.
The headline confirmed that, as a result of the recent salary increase, more than 2,200 teachers who had applied for a discharge from the system decided to remain in teaching, while 1,047 who planned to retire decided to stay. In addition, more than 6,000 teachers who had left the classrooms requested their reinstatement.
Velázquez said that “for the moment” resources such as notebooks, writing and colored pencils, chalks and the teacher’s modules are guaranteed, but that the availability of other resources such as tempera, watercolors and crayons is “incomplete,” according to the Cuban News Agency (ACN).
She also explained that there were textbooks and workbooks that have not been produced due to lack of paper, as well as delays in the schools’ maintenance and repair plans, while the technical availability of computers for teaching is 73 %.
Regarding the sale of school uniforms, which has caused controversy in Cuba because of its delays and other problems, she said that it’s in its first stage in all the provinces “according to the planned schedule,” but she acknowledged that there have been “irregularities in its second stage” in several territories, “as sales have not yet begun,” reports the ACN.
On the teachers’ preparation, she said that since July the training of all teachers was carried out and that the training of future teachers in the higher middle level will be “strengthened” with the opening of two new schools in the provinces of Mayabeque and Santiago de Cuba, with which there will already be 29 schools of this type in the country.