The experience of being in Havana, Cuba was a first for most of us on
the trip. We found that the more we explored the island the more we
discovered about what life was really like on a daily basis for the
families that live there. We came to Havana with an open mind and left
with a greater understanding or what it means to be Cuban.
Education of our youth is important
in any culture because it determines the future of any nation.
In Toledo Public
Schools, children are encouraged to wear blue and white uniforms to
school everyday. It is no different for the children in Cuba. Students
who attend the primary grades wear red and white uniforms. Children
who attend secondary school wear a yellow uniform. In Cuba education
is one of the most important aspects of everyone’s life. Children go
to school 6 days a week from 8:30 to about 4 p.m
After school many
students go to computer classes at a computer technology center called
the Computer Palace (Palacio de Computadora). Students where uniforms
all through primary to secondary school.
Education and the
seeking out of information doesn’t just happen in a school setting. As
we all know, learning happens through the cultural practices that we
engage in. Music, drama, dance, poetry, art-ŕbeing creative is an
important part of life. The students playing violin are performing at
the opening of the INFO 2000 conference. The second picture is of
young women performing for their CDR. Their performance included song
as well as dance.
Sometimes students in Cuba decide
that going to school is not something they want to continue. Like the
United States, some students decide to drop out. Unlike the United
States, Cuba decided to create a new school specifically for these
students in order keep them involved in finding a solution to the
social issues in the country like teen pregnancy, school drop outs,
HIV/AIDS and other illnesses. These students attend the School for
Social Workers in Havana. Here students learn how to organize and find
solutions to everyday problems.
4. (2nd picture of School of
A specific problem that students
worked on was an illness called Dengue. This illness is spread by
mosquitoes and causes severe flue like symptoms that could lead to
death. Students worked long hours to educate people about the disease
as well as getting rid of disease spreading mosquitoes.
Students at the School of Social
Workers also work in the agricultural area in the many gardens that
are found in Havana. The food is used for the schools. Sometimes the
food is also provided to the hotels and restaurants and is also sold
Education in Cuba is free. This
means college, too. The University of Havana is located near the
center of the city of Havana. Here, people from Cuba as well as
students from international locations like the United States and
Mexico come to study biology, philosophy, technology, agriculture,
medicine and other disciplines under renowned professors.