The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) sponsored a study of Latin American schools in 1998. Carried out in primary schools, the results have just come out and shall be presented next Friday by the president of the Inter-American Development bank.
The tests focussed on educational and cultural levels of primary school children. The Cuban children showed such high indices in Mathematics and Language that the tests had to be repeated, because the officials believed a problem had occurred with the data gathering techniques.
Jeff Puryear, the co-director of the Partnership for the Educational revitalisation in the Americas, stated that “They went back to Cuba and repeated the test because there was some abnormality”.
The team performing the tests was able to reconfirm their earlier conclusion: “Cuba leads the region in the results of the third and fourth class both in Mathematics and in Language. Even the classes with the lowest rate in Cuba were well above the average”, they added.
Fidel Castro declared when he came to power four decades ago that he would prioritise health and education. This he has done, preparing generation after generation of well-qualified young people, only to face a stone wall, the US embargo, strangling the country’s economy and holding the people down.
This blockade is no more than a temper tantrum over having been defeated at the Bat of Pigs and is a form of political interference in the sovereign affairs of another country.
Despite the fact that Cuba has the lowest resources of all the Latin American countries, it is able, due to sound management and organisation by the Cuban Communist party, to guarantee high levels of quality in those areas which it can control, namely internal resources. As for the general standard of living, it would be much higher if the country were not held in a decades-old stranglehold by the USA.
Marcia MIRANDA PRAVDA.Ru BRAZIL