The Famous Plan D

Cuban university students, Photo: Wagner T. Cassimiro
Cuban university students, Photo: Wagner T. Cassimiro

About a year and a half ago, I first began to hear talk in my Institute about the so-called Plan D, a new curriculum plan for university students.

I was able to learn about the characteristics of this new plan only by hearsay: cutbacks in lecture hours, an increase in individual study time, reduced programs of study for some subjects. Many courses that under the former plan (Plan B) stretched over several semesters would be compressed into just one. Lastly, optional courses were to be introduced.

Although many of the changes embodied in this new plan seem beneficial to me, not all the students in my school agree.

Comments regarding Study Plan D as a disaster continue to be heard in the classrooms and corridors. I believe they are based on some solid reasons.

Many of my classmates believe that they learn better through lectures than they do by studying on their own. Individual study offers only the slimmest possibility of success because there is such a great lack of bibliography. Also, our very limited access to the Internet means that neither real independent work nor research is possible.

Added to this is strong criticism of the compacted programs of study in some subjects. All of us believe that this will diminish the quality of education.

Those in charge of drawing up this new plan, whose overall guidelines were determined by the Ministry of Higher Education, are the most established professors in the careers offered in my department (Nuclear Chemistry, Nuclear Physics, Nuclear Engineering and Meteorology.)

At this moment, the famous Plan D is being implemented for all first year students in my Institute, although the rest of us still don’t know the details of the changes.

After seeing how questionable this new system of study can be, it simply makes no sense that no one took us into account in the elaboration of the plan. There’s no doubt that we who receive these plans are very capable of determining their flaws and benefits.

Once again, though, we University students are not listened to, despite the fact that in this socialist country we should be the protagonists of all that happens in the University.

Once again, the orders come from above, in this case the Ministry of Education and the committee of University professors. We, the students, remain below and nobody is interested in coming down and listening to our suggestions.

Daisy Valera

Daisy Valera:Soil scientist and blogger. I write from Mexico City, where Havana sometimes becomes so small that it disappears. However in others, the Cuban capital is a city so past and present that it steals your breath.

One thought on “The Famous Plan D

  • Like I said elsewhere on this site: a truly socialist university in a socialist society is one where the students hold political power alongside the professors and the rest of the staff. Therefore issues surrounding the course of study, etc. woud be thoroughly discussed amongst all concerned parties — and voted on. Regularly.

    I don’t think that’s what you have there now, is it?
    This must change.

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