Victoria Ojalvo has spent nearly three decades devoted to instilling values in Cuban university students. This is a task she carries out with love from her office at the Center for the Study of Improvement in Higher Education (CEPES).
Her efforts aim to make students “honest, responsible, and hardworking people, and that these attributes become a part of each youth’s personality.”
She recently urged, in an article published on February 8 in the weekly newspaper Trabajadores, that educators be neither impatient nor formulaic, since “values are not formed in a day”… “in a single moment one can achieve supportive behavior, but that doesn’t indicate this value has been formed.”
‘You must understand, that for a person to move from here to there requires a little bit more than honesty. I believe you went too far with this one’s self esteem; it’s going to be necessary to reeducate that youth!’, came to mind.
The teaching of values in Cuba is done in a kind of knee jerk fashion. I wish I had a laxative that would make me purge all the values Ojalvo and her comrades have been able to inculcate in me without my consent.
How is it possible that prestigious and experienced doctors of science have such a pathetic concept of pedagogy? What right do those scientists have to manipulate the minds of people?
What is their philosophical justification if even Karl Marx himself was against State-managed education; according to his own words it’s the State that needs the educating.
And also, in terms of the question of values, who should decide which ones are good or bad? Society perhaps? Then, seriously, did they ask society or simply make assumptions?
Aren’t those the same doctors, with their absurd theories, who have generated such anti-social tendencies among the youth? This is the basic and natural reaction of life in the face of such banality.
Experience has taught me that all this drivel about values only generates double standards and scorn for them, or —conversely— people who are submissive and devoid of identity.
But the issue is not so simple. The ill-named “formation of values” is not only the work of a generation of morally virtuous educators who wanted to do good but made a bad choice of the means.
Instead, it is another symptom of the decadence engendered by over-centralized control, and it’s a requisite step in the establishment of a pro-classist culture in need of a cosmetic makeover, a role carried out successfully by the values Victoria wants to inculcate in us.