OF the 7,000-plus elementary schools within the Cuban education system, 4,894 are in rural areas, serving 174,000 pupils.
This confirms the universal nature of education in Cuba; however, they are not exempt from the transformations being undertaken in the country in relation to the updating of the economic and social model.
As part of the reorganization of the educational network, more than 1,000 rural schools with a registration of 1-5 pupils have been closed, with a parallel reduction of students boarded. The minimum registration in rural centers is now 6-10 pupils.
In this context, according to Odalis García Figueroa, national director of elementary education, solutions have been found in accordance with the realities of each area and 100% of pupils in the closed schools have been incorporated into the teaching system.
In the current school year, elementary teaching confronts challenges in terms of improving results in the subjects of language and mathematics, and to meet the demand for teachers in the provinces of Havana and Matanzas, where classrooms are still staffed by student and retired teachers.
The situation is more favorable in other provinces and the country currently has 78,123 elementary teachers working in classrooms.
The Central Institute of Pedagogic Sciences has been studying the curriculum at this educational level since 2010 in order to decide what changes are needed.
The introduction of the subject of civic education in the program for sixth grade pupils is one of the results of this research and came into effect this school year.
Within elementary education, work is ongoing to increase rigor in classrooms, so that teachers constitute a model for the children, and to arouse interest in teaching careers from an early age.