Home South AmericaEcuador Teacher’s Day in Cuba: between exodus and crisis

Teacher’s Day in Cuba: between exodus and crisis

by Editor
0 comment
Teacher's Day in Cuba: between exodus and crisis

He is 15 years old and in a few days he will begin a seven-month course to train as a chemistry teacher, a job that will take him back to junior high school, where he has just graduated. This time he will be in front of a classroom. Gabriel is one of the many teachers trained at full speed to try to stop the exodus of professionals from Cuban schools, but his vocation is minimal and his knowledge is scarce.

This December 22, the day Teacher’s Day is celebrated on the Island, the tradition is to treat those who teach from the simplest letters of the alphabet to the most complicated mathematical formulas with gifts. However, the economic crisis and shortages have cut those present this year. “My children are going to take a packet of detergent and that’s it,” a mother of two primary school children told me this Wednesday.

Where before flowers, glass vases, perfumes or liquors abounded, now more emergency products appear: laundry soaps, tubes of toothpaste, squares of chicken-flavored concentrates and, from the hands of the most powerful families purchase, you can get a package of sausages or turkey mincemeat. “There are people whose relatives in Miami have sent their gifts ahead of time, but I don’t have anyone abroad,” says another neighbor with twins in high school.

Where before flowers, glass vases, perfumes or liquors abounded, now more urgent products appear

Other students have the problem of not knowing who to give the present to. “My son barely taught last year and this one is going the same way,” says Yantiel, a 38-year-old from Havana who has seen at least three young teachers pass through his little boy’s classroom without any of them lasting more than a few weeks. “The first one got sick with dengue and did not return to work after that. The other was a very young woman who left through Nicaragua and the last one was sanctioned for so many absences.”

Although the global figure for the teacher deficit rarely appears in the official media. In the province of Ciego de Ávila alone, 575 teachers were missing last September, according to the local press. These absences are not only due to teachers’ low salaries and immense job responsibilities causing them to drop out en masse and pursue more economically advantageous occupations. The lack of vocation also hits a sector where too many experiments have been carried out.

The “emerging teachers” that began to be trained at the beginning of this century have been followed by all kinds of pedagogical projects to shorten teaching and graduation times for teachers. The urgency to complete the teaching staff has been accompanied by more and more promotions of pedagogues with serious gaps in knowledge and weak capacity to transmit ethical or moral values.

“I had to fill out a lot of paperwork and between meetings, reports on the situation of my students’ families and all the political activities I was spending a lot of the time I had to use to repair my classes”

“The only thing one of my son’s teachers knew how to do well was use the remote control of the classroom television,” Yantiel ironically. But even that clumsy professor is now remembered with nostalgia by more than twenty students who spend their days “drawing, sitting in the morning area or playing with mobile phones because they don’t have anyone to teach them the subjects,” he stresses. .

Among those who have left the classroom, the reasons are not only low wages and the high cost of living. “I had to fill out a lot of paperwork and between meetings, reports on the situation of the families of my students and all the political activities I was losing a lot of the time I had to use to repair my classes,” says Indira, a Cienfuegos graduate from the Bachelor of Spanish and Literature who, after three years as a primary school teacher, crossed the Darien jungle and now lives in Miami.

“I really liked teaching but I was losing the desire along the way,” he admits. “When I had everything ready to leave the country, I went to see the school principal and told her that she was leaving me. She assured me that in less than a month three teachers had told her the same thing.” Indira dreams of one day going back to being in front of a classroom, but she sees it as unlikely. “I stay in a WhatsApp group with the colleagues I left behind in Cuba.”

This Thursday, in the classroom where Indira taught her Spanish classes at a school in the Plaza de la Revolución municipality, some parents organized a small party to entertain the pedagogical assistant who has tried to replace the work of the emigrant teacher. “They called me by videoconference and I greeted my students.” At the teacher’s table, Indira saw some of the gifts they brought: “Floor blankets and soap.”


Collaborate with our work:

The team of 14ymedio He is committed to doing serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for accompanying us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time becoming a member of our newspaper. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

Source link

You may also like

All the news from Latin America for English speakers

Latest Articles