All You Have to Do Is Study

By Daysi Valera

Following a month of stressful exams, my school has just finished for the summer.  Finally I have time to rest and take care of several other non-educational activities.

This year of studies was long and plagued with work, pretty tiring actually.  It made me think about an expression that is very common in Cuban society but which I hadn’t given much thought to before.

People between the ages of 5 and 25 are often told here: “The only thing you have to do is study.” Although this can sound quite beautiful, it has a different connotation.

This same expression can be translated as something like: if you’re a student, you should only worry about studying what the school assigns and desperately forcing yourself to get the best grades you can.  If you don’t, you’re making an enormous mistake.

What I’ve seen in my student years is that the life of most pupils gravitates around school and grades.

Teachers and family members make you believe that you can’t do anything else, and that you’re irresponsible if you try.

During the last two years I haven’t had a lot of free time, but I feel that I’ve learned important things that are helping me to grow as a person.  Moreover, those valuable lessons that I have learned were precisely in those areas that were not taught to me in school.

Academia has not been able to relate what we learn there to other knowledge that only society and workers can offer, which is the fundamental basis of our education.

In the society in which we live, it is indispensable that students interact with other sectors and be able to assimilate knowledge that is not specifically offered in the classroom.

Knowledge of social science, politics and philosophy should not be so removed from those people who study physical sciences, for example.

Current concepts that are employed hinder both individual and social development.