Monday, September 04, 2006

Back to School Monday in Cuba

Ahora, Cuba

The 2006-2007 school year begins Monday throughout Cuba when more than a quarter of the island’s inhabitants go back to the classrooms.

All levels of education are free to the population in Cuba, as is full room and board for some half-million students and lunch for another million.

The 13,400 schools opening their doors for the new year serve as a reminder that Cuba’s reality is not that of many children and young people in the world. On the island, education is mandatory through 9th grade and the system sees to it to reach those living even in the most remote areas.

An increased teaching staff has led to reduced class sizes of no more than 20 students, even in this year that boasts the highest enrolment ever with more than 620,000 students of all ages, from preschool to adult education courses.

The opening of university branches in all of the country’s municipalities has made this new priority on higher education a reality.

For the little ones who are entering school for the first time, a new phase in their lives is just beginning. Drawings, words, sounds and reading will take them on the first steps of what will certainly be an unending spiral of knowledge.

(Taken from Granma)

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