Wednesday, June 25, 2014

About The Matter of Academic Fraud in Havana

About The Matter of Academic Fraud in Havana / Jeovany Jimenez Vega
Posted on June 24, 2014

It happened several years ago and it's now one of those open secrets
that even the kids know about: the bribery of teachers and professors at
all levels of teaching has ended up being, as a result of habituation,
something almost folkloric; and although it would be unfair to tar the
innocent and the guilty with the same brush, it was certainly worth
while having fired off warning shots about a matter which has reached
scandalous proportions, all the more so for having had the public
spotlight shone on it, in view of the terrible moral consequences, with
implications for all of us.

We are not always talking about bribery in the form of straightforward
cash. There is a whole range of resources available to the brown-nosers
and ostentatious people to achieve their objective and once the target
teacher has been singled out all you have to do is study his needs and
specific tastes in order to fire the shot, which could be delicious
snacks, made to measure clothes, expensive perfumes or exclusive
invitations, for example.

Without doubt, the lamentable economic hardship suffered by our
country´s educators influences all this, with a "salary" similar to that
earned up to now by our doctors, and which has kept both groups on the
edge of poverty for decades. But, it isn't for nothing that I write here
the word "influences" rather than "determines".

As a result of mysteries of human nature, at the same time and place as
some tend toward hypocrisy, others behave stoically. I know honourable
examples of teachers who never were shamelessly two-faced and who have
lived with decency while enduring poverty, and for that reason I cannot
accept that necessity is enough in itself to affect everyone equally,
however oppressive it may be.

It's clear that in this case as well, the people detained and prosecuted
— eight of them according to what was published by Granma — belong yet
again to the lower classes. Although transparency is always reasonable,
because it is the "raison d´etre" of all genuine journalism, and it is
worthwhile making an example, I ask myself if this official melodrama
would be equally able to denounce a sacred cow, a commander or
historical leader of the Revolution, in the event of it being shown that
they were implicated in some such difficulty.

Translated by GH

18 June 2014

Source: About The Matter of Academic Fraud in Havana / Jeovany Jimenez
Vega | Translating Cuba -

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