Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Shortage of Teachers Will Mark the Upcoming School Year

A Shortage of Teachers Will Mark the Upcoming School Year / 14ymedio
Posted on August 26, 2014

14ymedio, Havana, 25 August 2014 – This Monday enrollment began for the
various levels of education across the country. The 2014-2015 school
year presents a challenge to the Ministry of Education authorities,
given the alarming shortage of teachers in the provinces of Havana and
Matanzas. On September 1st more than 1.8 million students will enter the
classrooms, a figure that declines every year because of the low
birthrate affecting the Cuban population. The coming school year will
put to the test an educational system caught between an educational
system, the unattractive salaries for professionals, and the verticality
of decision making.

So far, the presence of 172,000 teachers in the schools has been
confirmed, which meets only 93.1% of the needs. However, at least 10,897
positions have been difficult to fill and the educational authorities
have tried to fill them by hiring retired teachers, using school staff
members from management and administration, and increasing the workload
of the teachers already confirmed. Officials and education experts will
also help in the schools, although without the ability to cover all the
educational needs.

Still, there is a shortage of at least 660 teachers in the capital and
Matanzas province, which so far have no replacements. The Education
Minister, Ena Elsa Velazquez, remarked that regardless of the shortage,
already confirmed educators have to be protected and "not given extra
tasks." An intention difficult to achieve given the current circumstances.

In recent decades Cuban education has suffered a process of material and
professional deterioration. During the previous year there was an
increase in people complaining about the loss of spaces in classes and
assignments in numerous schools around the country. The exodus of
teachers to other types of work has forced the training of "emergent
teachers" and the introduction of classes taught by television and
videos. These measures demonstrate that education is broken and generate
deep concern among the students' parents, particularly those with
children in elementary and junior high school.

Source: A Shortage of Teachers Will Mark the Upcoming School Year /
14ymedio | Translating Cuba -

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