A Look at the Educational Structure in Cuba

Havana, Cuba – Cuba’s education system might as well be considered the ultimate wrap-around institution for children.

All children are considered to be wards of the state and in partnership with the parents. All pertinent institutions work in tandem to provide support for their educational and socio-emotional needs. The infant program is available for ages one to four and incorporates child care as well as meeting the medical needs of the children. Parents are taught to be the child’s first teacher.

After school programs abound in every community, attempting to keep students of all ages engaged in constructive activities. Our group visited “La Colmenita”, an after-school program center that uses visual and performing arts as social development tools.

While there, we saw second and third graders making impressive sketches. We were treated to musical performances and dances that brought our group to standing ovations.

This happens not in modern, well-maintained facilities, but rather decaying structures in need of much maintenance and repair.

The staff is not paid. They are parents, artists and performers who volunteer to work with the children.

These programs extend throughout the summer vacation period when parents are required to take their two-week vacations so they can participate in activities with their children.

Dan Domenech is the executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association. His blogged about the April 17-22 AASA Delegation to Cuba.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *