Cuban Authorities Admit ‘Teacher Shortage’

Only a small percentage of Cuban students want to become teachers. Photo:Caridad

HAVANA TIMES — A shortage of teachers is one of the problems facing Cuban education, according to official data provided on Saturday. An alert was also sounded concerning the lack of interest on the part of young people in the field of teaching as a career, reported the EFE news service.

“Only with a change of thinking towards the teaching profession, induced by families and society in general, will we be able to overcome the teacher shortage facing the country today,” read a report in the Juventud Rebelde newspaper.

Currently on the island, there is a 6.8 percent deficit in permanent classroom teachers, which has again forced administrators to fill positions with students who “lack experience” in teaching, as acknowledged by the official newspaper itself.

The report warns that the career of teaching is currently an “Achilles heel.” As evidence, it cites the fact that of the more than 31,000 university slots offered in educational sciences this current school year, only 19.7 per percent of these have been filled.


2 thoughts on “Cuban Authorities Admit ‘Teacher Shortage’

  • Here in Brazil the teacher deficit in public education is about 15% so, even with a far more advanced economy and without having suffered major impacts from the worldwide economic crisis, we’re still worse off than Cuba with its ‘failed economic system’.

    Study, study.

  • My sister-in-law is a teacher in Guantanamo. She is a natural-born teacher and loves teaching 10-11 year-olds. Her monthly salary is around 8 cuc or roughly $10 us. Fortunately, she lives with her parents yet she still has to help to pay expenses in the home. Before my wife (her sister) began sending money each month to her parents to help out, my sister-in-law used to have to tutor students after school for extra money. By extra money, I mean about 50 cents a day a couple of days a week. Like any young woman anywhere, she enjoys nice clothes and wearing makeup and even going out dancing with friends on occasion. These are all things only made possible because my wife regulary sends clothes and make-up and a little spending money. The fact that there is a teacher shortage should surprise no one. Teaching is one of those jobs in Cuba where there is nothing to steal or embezzle or skim without hurting the kids. Something my sister-in-law refuses to do and thankfully there are still a few other teachers like her. Young Cubans today want to work in jobs where there is access to tourists, either in restaurants or hotels OR where the goods and services provided in their government job can be siphoned off for sale on the black market. Teaching is nowhere near as lucrative as these other jobs and the revolutionary spirit among teachers has dissipated. Public school teaching all over the world has suffered setbacks due to the worldwide economic crisis, especially in the US. But the problems that teachers in Cuba face are significantly worse because of the failed economic system.

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