A harangue against 11J to start the school year in Havana

A harangue against 11J to start the school year in Havana

For more than half an hour the students of the José Luis Arruñada school waited standing in the courtyard for the start of the activity for the restart of the 2020-2021 school year. Already at the parents’ meeting, held last week, the teachers had warned that the school had been selected to celebrate “the central act” in Havana and warned: “The television is going to come and everything.”

During the waiting time, songs by Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés were played over the loudspeakers, while the image of the flag alternated with that of Fidel Castro on a huge screen.

The scenario was not the same as always, this time the uniformity of the wardrobe was not complete, many of the students had to attend this Monday with “street clothes” because the educational authorities have not been able to coordinate in time with industry and commerce. the manufacture and sale of new uniforms. During the long months of the pandemic, children have grown or gained weight and the old one they were using before the order arrived to pause classes and stay home is no longer useful.

The parents had to settle for watching the event from the gate. Due to the protection measures to avoid the contagion of covid-19, they prohibited entry to the family. The conversation of the group that gathered at the entrance revolved most of the time around the financial juggling that everyone has done to get clothes and shoes so that the children could attend the classrooms on this day. They also complained about the delay in starting the act and the lack of distance between the boys.

“For two weeks I have sent some clothes that I do not wear to a friend who has a garage sale at her house on weekends”

“I do not know why to have them standing there for pleasure all on top of each other unnecessarily. I also do not understand what they are waiting for if all the children are already formed and ready for a long time. It is not correct that with those backpacks full of books they are waiting so long standing up, “says one mother to another who also complains for other reasons:

“For two weeks I have sent some clothes that I do not wear to a friend who has a garage sale at her house on weekends. There I earned about 3,000 pesos and sold a coat from a trip I made to Russia two years ago Before the pandemic. Thanks to that I was able to gather the 6,000 pesos I needed to buy my son’s tennis shoes, otherwise it would have been impossible because my salary is 4,800. “

“Luckily mine is still the same size, she didn’t grow so much in this time and she still has the uniform and even the shoes fit her. The drama at home was getting something to prepare breakfast and a snack. Do you know what my daughter had for breakfast? A banana, “says another of the mothers. “She always has a glass of milk for breakfast because she does not like to eat bread early and she does not drink juice either, but I have not been able to buy milk since September. There is no milk, at any price I can find it,” she laments.

A father who listened in silence, the only one among so many mothers, said that in his house, where there are two children, one 11 and the other 5, they are being seen as black for breakfast. “Before stretching the milk that they still sell to the smallest by the book, it was enough for us but now they are only giving half, we went from buying one kilogram a month to only half a kilogram and nobody knows how long it will be like that,” he said.

The man points out that, in the absence of milk, during all this time his son, who is in sixth grade, has eaten a waffle of ice cream for breakfast that they sell on the corner of his house. “Now it is impossible to solve that way, when he leaves for school the cafeteria is closed and he has only had to leave with a toast in his belly and for a snack he takes an omelette, because there is nothing else. I know that this is going to be a headache every day, “he warns.

The conversation is interrupted when strident music plays that announces the beginning of the morning, three girls solemnly walk and leave a bouquet of flowers on José Martí’s bust, the national anthem sounds and everyone sings it. Then a teacher arrived who gave the reading of some words that served as gratitude “for the efforts of our scientists and doctors” that allowed the vaccination stage “that today encourages the reunion of teachers and students.”

He also listed several reasons that “motivate” the start of the course: “the 502 anniversary of the founding of the town of San Cristóbal de La Habana, the 96th anniversary of the birth of our greatest pioneer, Fidel Castro Ruz, the 60th anniversary of the Union of Young Communists, the 61st anniversary of the José Martí Pioneers Organization and the 60th anniversary of the Literacy Campaign “.

Then he welcomed everyone present and announced the presence of officials from the Communist Party of Cuba, the Popular Power, the Ministry of Education, the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba, the Union of Young Communists and “community factors. “. Although, later, the parents would know from the Havana Tribune that the central act of the province had taken place in a school in La Lisa.

At that moment a young man with black hair and medium height, with a press credential hanging around his neck, approaches the fence with his camera to take a picture. Noticing that the gate was open, he entered to take the portraits more closely.

“Now the other battle begins, looking to see what invention for lunch, we live on a nerve, it is an endless fight and it is not against the enemy, it is against ourselves”

A lady who up to that moment was chatting animatedly jumps up and says: “And whoever came in now, who is he? Is he a real journalist? He looks like the stupid one who wants to do a march on the 15th. I’m not going to take him away. One eye up because this is like putting a bomb on him but not the way he wants to, not against the revolution. I complain and criticize everything, there is no milk for the children, you have to queue up to five and six hours but the revolution it is not touched “, says the woman with a high tone of voice and a notable alteration. Another lady who was looking at her in the face told her: “the revolution has given us everything.”

Five minutes later the young reporter leaves through the same door that he entered and leaves, without the angry lady asking him beforehand what media he works for, to which he replies: “I am a journalist from Rebel Youth“.

At that moment one of the mothers approached another who commented on the impertinence of that woman and who tried to convince her that she was exaggerating with her reaction and said: “She is Raúl Castro’s niece, I know her, and she is not well of the nerves”.

The rain arrives and almost interrupts the act but it was only a few drops. Even so, the teachers hurried the end and sent the children to go to the classrooms. The parents withdrew little by little from the gate but before that a woman’s voice was heard saying: “Now the other battle begins, looking to see what invention for lunch, we live on a nerve, it is an endless fight and it is not against the enemy, it is against ourselves. “

Upon entering the classroom, the first thing that happened was that the high school students received a harangue from the teacher of the Civic Education subject against the day of protests on July 11: “I am not coming to wash your head but you cannot let led by bad influences, none of those who took to the streets that day have a job, they are all puppets of the empire, ungrateful. The country does not betray itself. “

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