HAVANA TIMES — On Monday Sept. 1, the new school year begins in Cuba at all levels, from pre-school to technical and university classes, announced Education Minister Ena Elsa Velásquez Cobiella.
The figure of 1.8 million students registered represents more than 10 percent of the Cuban population, although the figure has dropped because of aging and the low birth rate.
The official noted that the teacher shortage in Cuba continues with only 93.1 percent of the classrooms covered. The deficit involves about 11,000 educators, reported Progreso Weekly.
Chronically low salaries continue to motivate many teachers to seek employment in other fields such as tourism.
One solution to the staffing problem has been to encourage the return of retired teachers to the educational system, who are allowed to receive their pensions along with their salaries.
Flexibility in classroom hours is a change taking place for the new school year. In some schools the school day will be split into two sessions with the children going home for lunch and then returning for the final classes.