The Rules at My Kid’s New School in Cuba

Irina Pino

HAVANA TIMES — School started a week ago. Some inertia still stands in the way as kids gain more and more impetus and the drowsiness of the summer break wears off.

My son is already in the 10th grade. This both pleases and worries me, as I don’t know what this new school has in store for us – the normal anxiety a parent feels before new situations.

Something in particular is taking place at this school, however, that is cause for concern. At the first teacher-parent meeting, held at the courtyard of the school, where the principal practically had to yell (as there was no microphone), there was talk of the school uniform, and it was threateningly said that those who do not abide by the rules would be expelled and their name included in a mysterious list of sorts.

School regulations demand straight-cut pants for males and long skirts for females. No jewelry is allowed. Everyone is required to wear long, white socks. Sophisticated devices and cell phones are prohibited (they may be confiscated and returned at the end of the school year).

The issue that wasn’t addressed was the syllabus, a topic of crucial importance for students that concerns us all. It wasn’t discussed, as though it was something devoid of importance.

There are things that speak for themselves: 11th and 12th grade students wear their pants as they see fit and the teachers turn a blind eye on this, or simply don’t want to notice. They only seek to impose this degree of discipline on the rookies, through far from convenient methods.

At snack times, one can see many kids take out their cell phones to listen to music, play and even take pictures with their teachers.

On one of the following days, two students were made to stand before their peers at the morning lineup, so that these would be able to see the difference between the proper and improper use of the school uniform. In my opinion, this serves only to embarrass the student who does not wear the uniform as per the regulations.

Many students who wear the uniform properly are mocked by their classmates, leading to inferiority complexes, and ultimately change their appearance radically.

I have no idea what will happen in the future, but the fair thing would be to have everyone abide by the same rules, without any exceptions.

Irina Pino

Irina Pino: I was born in the middle of shortages in those sixties that marked so many patterns in the world. Although I currently live in Miramar, I miss the city center with its cinemas and theaters, and the bohemian atmosphere of Old Havana, where I often go. Writing is the essential thing in my life, be it poetry, fiction or articles, a communion of ideas that identifies me. With my family and my friends, I get my share of happiness.

8 thoughts on “The Rules at My Kid’s New School in Cuba

  • Do you still have connections in Cuba? I would love to learn more about teaching there.

  • hELLO, Is this school in Varadero an international school? Or just a public Cuban school? My 2 childeren are also half Dutch/ half Cuban, we like to move to Cuba, but for me the school is a sensitive point; its should be good…. I think there is only 1 international school in Havana isnt it? Isnt there an option between International School and Cuban Public school…?Hope to hear from you. Regards Esther from HOlland

  • Addendum:
    I would advise contributors to avoid using the e-mail address provided by Gordon Robinson. It will provide direct identification which can duly be provided to Machado Ventura. In Cuba that is dangerous!

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