More than 5,000 Cuban teachers will return to the classrooms after the increase in salaries recently decreed by the island’s government, according to Education Minister Ena Elsa Velázquez.
“More than 5,000 teachers have already requested their reinstatement after the salary increase,” Velázquez wrote on her Twitter account, where she clarified that applications for reincorporation “are made in the Municipal Directorates of Education.”
“The educational coverage will be favored with the reincorporation of experienced teachers willing to work well,” said the minister.
Ya son más de 5 000 los maestros que han solicitado reincorporarse, luego del incremento salarial. Las solicitudes se realizan en las direcciones Municipales de Educación. Que maestros con experiencia y disposición a trabajar bien se reincorporen, favorece la cobertura docente.
— Ena Elsa Velázquez Cobiella (@elsa_ena) July 17, 2019
In a recent broadcast of the television program Mesa Redonda, the minister had reported a deficit of 6% of teachers for the next school year, which will begin on September 2. That figure “should decrease with this return of experienced teachers,” says the official website Cubadebate.
On that occasion, Velázquez said that the positions covered would be 2% more than the previous year and that “hired teachers, from production and services, student assistants from the universities, among others, will be used for the rest of the needs” and she affirmed that “until now the exodus and inactivity are slightly lower than the previous stage.”
A year ago, the minister had recognized that the Cuban educational system suffered from a deficit of 10,000 teachers for the 2018-2019 academic year.
Now, she affirmed that, along with the reincorporation, 5,813 new teachers and professors trained in the island’s pedagogical schools and universities would be working, as well as 538 graduates of the two-year intensive training course.
She also said that there would be more than 3,000 students in the last year of pedagogical careers to do a “full-time practice” in the schools “that will be their workplace once they graduate.”
According to official data, the average monthly salary of education workers in Cuba was around 533 pesos (about 21 CUC equivalent to the dollar) in 2016―the last available year―, below the general average salary, which was 740 pesos, and of the average salary of other sectors such as agriculture, construction, commerce, health, transportation and communications.
With the recent increase, the salaries in the education sector should exceed 1,000 pesos (40 CUC), and be equated with the new monthly average salary (1,067 pesos) of the island’s state budgeted sector.