Why Cuba is an Education Success Story and What It Can Teach Africa. Clive Kronenberg, The Huffington Post, 20 April 2016

“The Cuban government’s steadfast commitment to education is irrefutable. The island’s relatively modest economy makes its educational triumphs all the more astonishing. This sets the objective basis for more in-depth scrutiny of its methods, particularly by struggling nations”

Cuba takes education very seriously. It was a top priority for Fidel Castro when he became prime minister in 1959. The foundations of Castro’s new socialist order were premised on the understanding that only good-quality education could conquer Cuba’s acute poverty, ignorance and underdevelopment. By the 1980s the country’s educational spending was among the highest in the world. The approach to education has made a unique contribution to social change. There are three major methods through which Cuba revolutionised teaching and learning. The first one was the Literacy Campaign in 1961. In one year, almost one million people achieved rudimentary literacy. After that school enrolments grew rapidly, because education at all levels, including university and college, became free of charge. Since mid-1990s net primary admission has been 99% compared to 87% in the Latin American region. Gross secondary enrolments were 78% for boys and 82% for girls, compared to 47% and 51% in the region. Cuba know the importance of teachers, the country’s student-teacher ratio as of 2015 is an astonishing 12:1. Cuba’s methods are respected and applied way far beyond the island’s boundaries. The country wants struggling countries to learn from its experiences. Cuba’s accomplishments are not a miracle or coincidence. They are the outcome of years of devoted work, sacrifice and meeting crucial commitments on highly effective terms.

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Why Cuba is an Education Success Story and What It Can Teach Africa. Clive Kronenberg, The Huffington Post, 20 April 2016

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