HAVANA TIMES — The new school year began in Cuba on Monday. The ministry of education announced that 1,890,000 students were registered for primary and secondary (junior high) schools, 34,000 less than last year, an indication of the shrinking school-age population on the island.
Education is mandatory in Cuba through the ninth grade. The country is recognized internationally for its efforts to provide a quality education.
Nonetheless, many parents complain of the decline in teaching, caused by a massive exit from the profression by educators who couldn’t get by on the pay and sought work in other more promising fields such as the tourist industry. Young fast-track teachers were often their replacements.