The school year started less than two months ago.but as it progressed, the concern of parents about the poor condition of the schools, the lack of teachers and materialsand how all this affects your children’s learning.
Ania Díaz transferred her daughter from a school in the municipality of Cerro to another in Vedado, with the hope that in the neighborhood of Havana, still considered privileged, the study centers would have better conditions. But he was disappointed.
“There is nothing in those schools. No teachers, no assistants… people don’t want to work in Education. Primary education in the country is in disrepair. If I don’t take care of teaching my daughter addition and subtraction, we’ll be toast.”Díaz cried.
Your daughter is six years old and is in the first grade, a level where she also needs to learn to read, write and lay the foundations for the next grades.
The education system in Cuba is the state. The Government, in theory, is in charge of supplying the necessary materials for each student, but Over the years, the books that every student needs are scarce and those are in poor condition.. There are schools where children should share books because it is not enough for the entire tuition.
“While my daughter was from another center and I moved at the end of August, at the Vedado school they told me that the school supplies should be taken from the old center. There they gave me two notebooks and a pencil, and to the new one I gave another notebook,” explained Díaz.
Although the materials provided by schools have been of poor quality for decades, years ago students received more notebooks, pencils, erasers and other supplies, covering their needs as they progressed. the course. Now, it is up to the parents to take care of completing the requirements.
Regarding books, Díaz said that her daughter received Mathematics and Spanish books that were torn.. “I had to return them and the teacher later took them away and didn’t take them home,” said this mother.
Workbooks for different subjects are also lacking and parents have to print them in private businesses. Teachers, for their part, are also pressured by higher authorities, who impose demands on them amid a lack of resources.
In a WhatsApp group to which DIARIO DE CUBA has access, a teacher asked parents to work together to create different play areas for children in the first grade. “Don’t let me down, next week I have an inspection and they will check that,” he wrote.
“My daughter came here with a blank notebook, they didn’t send her any homework or anything.”complains Díaz. “There are meetings with parents, but one will ask for a fan and curtains for the classroom, and the other is to tell us that we have to make the children a composer, the teacher gave us a sample. According to him, he can’t give them homework because he doesn’t have a teaching assistant, and he can’t write the homework for 15 students in his notebook.”
Faced with these difficulties, For Díaz, the school is a place where he takes his daughter because at the time he has to work. and he has no one to take care of him, but He doesn’t believe the girl is learning. and believes that he should take care of his teaching.
“My daughter’s teacher is gone three out of five days a week; the other two, she’s sick or has a medical appointment. That happened to me in preschool, and now it’s happening to me in first grade as well,” he told DIARIO DE CUBA another mother, Yoandra Pestano.
“The books are given to us in digital format, so we can print them. Each book has 200 pages and printing each page costs ten pesos. How long will it take to print the books in Spanish and Mathematics, which are the subjects you have to teach?” Pestano asked.
To the lack of books discussed by many parents, Pestano added the lack of a uniform size for her daughter., who is six years old. “I have to separate them because they are boys from fifth or sixth grade girls. But if you go to the store where they sell the uniforms, for 500 pesos they will sell you a skirt, for another 500 they will sell you the a blouse. ,” she criticized.
Feeding children is another problem that almost every parent has., because school food can be rice and beans or peas. Pestano, to strengthen the snacks, you should buy one or two fruit bombs every week and freeze them to prepare juice for your girl. He spent about 600 pesos on it, adding any candy or protein like eggs, whose price exceeds 3,000 pesos for a carton of 30 units.
Lucía Pérez is lucky that her son, who is in the fifth grade, has good teachers, “but still the condition of the school where he is located is dangerous”, said.
Since before the start of the course, many parents have warned about the state of the schools where their children must spend every day.
Holguín mother Yenys Fernández criticized that her daughter and her elementary school classmates start classes in a classroom that is actually a warehouse that was built. In the pictures that Fernández published on Facebook, just three days before the start of classes, you can see the ruins of the ongoing construction and the long journey that the children had to make to reach the bathrooms.
For their part, incessantly comparing the return to school with “a party”, the authorities celebrate the return of in-person normality after the Covid-19 pandemic, although they immediately relativize these normalities that situation.
“This is at least the normality they allow us the economic challenges facing teaching as well”said a host of the official program With the wire on state television.
Parents and other relatives of minors cannot prevent it compare, for his part, the condition of schools with the luxury of hotels that have risen throughout the countrymost will remain empty, due to the low influx of tourism.