Joyous Young Cubans at the Beginning of the School Year

Elio Delgado Legón

School year 2019-2020 begins in Cuba. Photo: Dunia Álvarez Palacios /

HAVANA TIMES – One of the historical achievements of the Cuban Revolution is providing free and quality education at all levels and types of education. To that effect our historical leader, Fidel Castro, expressed: “A true culture of protection and preservation of schools, their resources and equipment, should be developed in children, teachers, parents, neighbors and all the people. Nothing created can be more noble, human, motivating and beneficial than a school.”

Precisely, on September 2, the 2019-2020 school year began throughout Cuba, a fact that, like every year, was a party for all the students, teachers and family, which is a joy for the entire population.

In general education the course began for 1.7 million students, which will be attended by 162,000 teachers, in 10,700 educational institutions.

Despite the economic limitations created by the US blockade, uniforms could be made for all children and adolescents, which meant making 3.125 million pieces of clothing.

There were also 16,933,584 notebooks distributed, which covers all the needs and are given to students for free, along with pencils and other materials.

Undoubtedly, the preparations to start the new school year with the essential materials has been an effort of builders who have participated in the repair and maintenance of schools, and also of teachers and parents of students, who have participated in the organization of the beginning of the course, which this year has a slightly higher enrollment than the previous one.

It has also been an effort of the government, having to import fabrics and other materials from distant countries, due to the ironclad blockade of the United States. However, no child is without a school, a teacher, a uniform, writing books or pencils.

How many underdeveloped countries can say the same?

There have been attempts to denigrate Cuban education, based on lies, but the truth always prevails and children show their best smiles of happiness at the beginning of the course.

The same applies to young people who enter or continue university studies, because in Cuba, a small country of only 11 million inhabitants, there are 50 universities in which 250,000 students are enrolled this course, who do so with the assurance that when they Graduate they will have a secured job, which is not common in other nations.

A characteristic of Cuban Higher Education, as of this course, is that during the last year of their education, students will be linked to the work centers where they will be placed when they graduate, which will familiarize them with their future work.

Another novelty of Higher Education, as of this course, is the opening of an important number of short-cycle careers, two or three years long, which prepares the student to perform in a specialty that does not require studying four or five years like the other fields.

Difficulties there are and will be, as long as we have to suffer the economic war of imperialism, but the Cuban State always defends the main conquests of the people, and there is nothing more stimulating than seeing the happy smiles of children and young people at the beginning of every new school year.

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Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

Elio Delgado Legon has 246 posts and counting. See all posts by Elio Delgado Legon

5 thoughts on “Joyous Young Cubans at the Beginning of the School Year

  • yeah, well before 1960 most people were illiterate, so there.

  • My sister-in-law is an elementary school teacher in Guantanamo. From her 11 years of personal experience with education in Cuba, I call Bullsh*t to most of Elio has written. The Castro dictatorship falls way short in meeting the material and educational needs of its students. There was a tremendous shortage of FREE school materials this year. At least in Guantanamo. Facilities are in horrible disrepair. Teachers are morbidly underpaid. As Carlyle comments above, school materials are old, outdated and full of jingoistic propaganda. Cuba education may be free but even free, its barely worth what it cost.

  • Oh Douglas Runyon how naive you are! Elio Delgado Legon has an almost uncanny ability to reflect the exact views of the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of Cuba. Elio is not a “tough defender of Cuba”, Elio is but a mouthpiece for a totalitarian state.
    My wife holds a responsible position in education in Cuba. When at home I am in daily contact with both school children and students in the upper grades. I see the reality of parents struggles, of the communist slogans painted on the walls of every classroom, of those school lunches of one meagre sandwich and indifferent “yohurt”. How do you explain the recent articles in Havana Times reporting upon the difficulty in obtaining school uniforms and the vice Minister of Education carrying out a purge of University professors?
    As for the schoolbooks so much admired by Elio (and the Propaganda Department). To introduce five year olds to the alphabet a book uses a photograph of a smiling (happy?) ‘Che’ Guevara. for F a picture of Celia Sanchez Manduley (with whom Fidel had a relationship until she died of cancer – and only then did he marry the mother of five of his sons) known as “la flor de la revolution”. For G there is a full page drawing of a Guerilla complete with July 26 armband, for L there is a drawing of the motor yacht ‘Granma’ in a torrential wind swept rainstorm (lluvia),and towards the end a full length picture of Fidel carrying a gun in the Sierra Maestra ending with a quote by Fidel:
    “A child who does not study is not a good revolutionary”.
    That is for five year olds!
    Every classroom has communist slogans painted on the walls and pictures of Fidel, Raul and Che.
    So much for you to enjoy!

  • Very well done as always Elio. I like it when you show us the positive happy side of things and the celebration that is the first day of school in Cuba is one of those things. I know you as a tough defender of Cuba but I enjoy this side of you too.

  • Elio, It appears as if you’ve been asleep for the past 50 years!

    You are a perfect example of why “castrismo sin castro” continues to endure!

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