Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana PRENSA LATINA in Spanish 1415 GMT 18 September 1966--E (FOR OFFICIAL

(Stenographic version of Fidel Castro speech at conclusion of national
meeting of school monitors in the Chaplin Theater, Havana, on 17 September;
speech not carried on monitored Cuban radio or television broadcasts)

(Text) Comrade leaders of the Education Ministry; comrade students:
Acceding to an appeal from Comrade Llanusa, we decided to participate in
this function today, although it was not on our schedule. If we have made
you wait somewhat, that is precisely the reason. Do not think that we are
so unpunctual as to make you wait more than one hour. There were other
things: meetings, interviews, and so forth, and things kept dragging on
until we arrived at this theater. That is the reason for our tardiness.

I want to be as brief as possible this evening. Today is Saturday and many
of you surely plan to go to the movies (shouts of "No"). The first thing I
want to tell you this evening is this: We have a great responsibility
toward you. To us has fallen the task of giving the revolution impetus. In
the revolution the most sacred of all our obligations was how we were going
to train the new generation in our country, how we were going to train our
youths and our children. From the very beginning of the revolution we have
been aware that we would triumph in this great historical task to the
extent that we were capable of resolving the problem of the training of the
new generations.

We feel that, as regards its speed, drive, enthusiasm, quality, and
quantity, education in our country has advanced as never before in any
other country. This was not an easy task, for in the field of education, as
in everything else, we had to begin with the resources available to us.
However, it must be said that in education there was a great number of
technicians, a large number of professionals than in other activities.
There were many teachers in our country. On 1 January 1959 there were some
10,000 teachers who did not have classrooms. The situation was not like
that in agriculture, where the lack of technicians and professionals was
enormous, monstrous.

In the education sector, among the teachers and professors at various
levels, there were a number of technicians who were trained in our country.
It must be said that many of them were very competent. However, it was soon
realized that the number of educational technicians available to our
country was not enough, for, in fact, there were 600,000 or 700,000
children who had no schools and more than 1 million illiterates in our
country, which is, fortunately, a thing of the past.

There was a quantitative lack of teachers. They were not abundant enough,
but they were also insufficient for another reason, and this was that there
was a need for teachers in very remote places and there were not enough of
them to be sent to those places. That is why a movement was initiated, a
mass movement in the field of education. Its beginning was the voluntary
teachers sent to Minas del Frio, the mountain teachers. A gigantic teacher
training plan was initiated, and I think that, counting those who will not
enter Minas del Frio and those who are studying for professional careers,
we must have at this time between 20,000 and 25,000 youths training as
professors and teachers.

The problem of education in Cuba was not simply a problem of numbers but
also a problem of quality. The last card in the deck--you must have heard
that before--or the last wheel on the car was public education. Public
education was quite forsaken in our country, lacking everything: books,
materials. It was and endless story. There was always talk that there were
no school supplies, that there were no books. That was the situation. Some
schools performed better, others did worse. In other places there was

However, private schools performed better, but the public schools were the
schools of the poor, the schools of the children of workers and peasants. I
am not going to say that private schools were the schools of the rich,
because many workers made great sacrifices to send their children to school
so that they would learn something. However, the schools with the best
installations, equipment, and so forth were the schools attended by
children of the wealthy. Indeed, these schools worked very well from the
material point of view, but badly enough from the pedagogical point of
view--at least those I was acquainted with. Really, any one of us who was
acquainted with those schools would have given anything for a school such
as we have today.

Then came the nationalization of the private schools, and there began a
great effort to give every youth and every child in the country the
necessary means to study under the best possible conditions. Scholarship
plans were started, as well as the construction of schools, the conversion
of buildings for school use, and the conversion of barracks into schools,
and a really gigantic effort in the field of teaching was undertaken. You
are also aware of the parallel effort we made in teaching adults to read
and write, in setting up followup schools, and in the field of
worker-peasant education. However, we made a great effort and we have made
much progress in the field we are discussing here, that is, the education
of youths and children.

Yet, does this perhaps mean that we should be satisfied with what we have
already achieved in this field? Does it perhaps mean that we should be
satisfied with the type of schools we already have? No. We have made a
great deal of progress in the field of education and in our efforts to
offer a good education to all children and youths of the country and not
merely to the children of a group of families or to the children of the
wealthy. We have tried to provide opportunities for all children and youths
of the country and not merely for a privileged minority. In the past it was
really a minority that had the opportunity to go to an elementary school,
to continue after the fifth or sixth year, to enter a high school, to enter
a preuniversity school, or to enter the university. This is something we
can all do today, though.

There is one thing we can state categorically, and that is that there is
not a single child and not a single youth in this country who cannot study
what he wants. Our youths and, above all, our children are fully aware of
this fact. On certain occasions, in the rural areas and in the hinterland,
we have asked elementary school children what they are going to study. Of
course, not all of them have a ready reply, because some of them know
nothing about vocations or feel they have a vocation for something so early
in life. However, the majority of them already know what they want. Many of
them are going to be teachers; others say they are going to be engineers;
others say they are going to be doctors. Many of them say they are going to
study mechanics. Some say, "I am going to drive a truck." (laughter) Others
want to be pilots or sailors. Many want to be agricultural engineers; some
want to be veterinary technicians, and so forth.

Now, one thing stands out in this: that those children already know that if
they want to study something they can do so. The fact that all these
vocations are possible here is a great victory for this society. We are
still not in a position today to realize what this means. We are not yet in
a position to appreciate what it will mean for our fatherland and our
people in the not too distant future, when all this country's minds can be
developed and trained and all can fully pursue a vocation. That had never
occurred here before and possibly has occurred in very few countries. We
sincerely believe that one of the more extraordinary things achieved by
this revolution has been to have given man's intelligence the possibility
of seeing how far it can go.

We still have a great many things to do, a great many things. We have a
great many material needs to fulfill in every field, in every field... but
the fact that we have achieved this is an extraordinary step forward. The
fact that we have achieved this is perhaps tantamount to having achieved
one of the most essential things for the happiness of a people, that is,
the possibility of cultivating every mind and of training it according to
its vocation. Naturally, that vocation must coincide with the needs and
interests of our people.

Now that we have achieved this, it remains for us to continue it in a
better fashion. We must succeed in doing it always in a more perfect way,
and that is perhaps where the expression "quality of education" enters the
picture. Of course, this is not a task that can be accomplished in a year;
it is a task that will require many years. It involves the problem of
training the cadres and the problem of material resources to continue
raising the qualitative level of education. However, without a doubt we
have taken a leap forward, and that leap is very promising.

This very institution of the monitors, for example, the development of the
monitor movement, is a promising idea and step. It is something new, a
revolutionary thing that will permit us to choose among the students. It is
a thing that will allow us to continue instilling a sense of
responsibility. It will permit us to ascertain who has a vocation, who is
more interested, and who is of better quality. It is something that will
increase the output of professors, the productivity of the professors. It
has permitted us to solve many problems, including the problem of the lack
of teachers and professors.

(?Now, about) the technical-scientific clubs: I am going to tell you that
seldom have I seen anything more impressive than the exhibition presented
by the technical-scientific clubs. For me it has been a very impressive
thing. Why? First of all, because it shows, it confirms one's conviction of
what can be done in the field of education and of what can be achieved by
developing the capacities of youths and children; because it proves the
need for a kind of education that differs from the type we all knew, from
the kind of education known in Cuba before; because it shows what our
country can be like in the future, and because it opens a great horizon.

We are beginning to see the not too distant day when our country, which now
lacks scientists, technicians, and skilled personnel; which has to carry
out a gigantic task with hardly any of the various types of engineers,
without scientists, without technicians, and without researchers; and which
sometimes does not have a single agricultural engineer on an area of 20,000
caballerias of land and where there are a great many agricultural centers
but not a single technician--as is the case in many plants and in many
centers of production--will be able to advance with tens of thousands and
hundreds of thousands of technicians.

We are aware of the difficulties we face today. We are aware of the
tremendous damage caused by ignorance, and there is no greater enemy of
man, peoples, and humanity than ignorance. Ignorance was the worst of all
the inheritances left us by colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism.
(applause) The worst misfortune for an underdeveloped country--all of you,
from the youths to the adults, must have heard or must have read this about
an underdeveloped country--is that it also lacks skilled workers,
technicians, scientists, and researchers. From the outset the revolution
has been waging a war to the death against that ignorance and that
misfortune. It has been waging against it--as against its worst enemy--a
war to the death. We believe that we are winning that fight against
ignorance, which is the cause of all the evils, which is the cause of the
worst evils, and also the worst result of colonialism and imperialism and
of the exploitation of man by man. When we have completely won that battle,
our country will cease to be an underdeveloped country.

Underdevelopment does not mean only a lack of plants and instruments of
labor. It is not only a lack of development in the economic field, but also
a lack of technique and of technical development. When one has that
technique, one has technical development from which the rest springs.
Countries have been devastated by wars and in a few years have easily
recovered. This is because, while the plants and the installations were
destroyed, the technique survived, as did hundreds of thousands, millions
of skilled workers and hundred of thousands of technicians, engineers, and
persons familiar with technical procedures.

However, in a country like ours which is just emerging, we find that the
principal problem is not a lack of plants but of technicians. That is the
main problem. We believe that this entire movement of monitors and
technical-scientific clubs--all this--is going to create among the youths
an awareness of the importance and value of technique. When we watched our
comrades handle a panel of instruments, when we saw fourth grade children
mounting and dismounting the hydraulic (?system) on a Soviet tractor--among
whom was the comrade (two words indistinct) who was given an award--when we
saw the work being done in the field, in all the fields, in genetics,
artificial insemination, chemistry, physics, and, finally, in all the
activities that are equally interesting, we realized that in 12 to 15 years
we shall be handling even nuclear energy in this country. (applause)

I do not have the slightest doubt that in 10, 12, or 15 years that enormous
swarms of thirsty minds eager for knowledge will master, in almost all
fields, the most advanced techniques known in the world today. (applause)
We do not have the slightest doubt of that, and of the fact that one day we
or other comrades will visit places where our technicians, who will have
come from your ranks, will be lecturing about and demonstrating their
understanding and mastery of the most advanced fields of physics,
chemistry, biology, and electronics.

We do not have the slightest doubt that these will be the fruits of the
efforts being made today, and if this is so, we must devote ourselves
wholeheartedly to the task of continuing along that road, of continuing to
develop this entire movement, all these contests, all these selections,
these efforts, these research, science, and technology clubs. We must
stimulate and arouse among all primary, secondary, and preuniversity school
students the highest possible interest in all these activities by all these
methods. I am confident that the students will realize the importance of
this, the importance of this to our country, the importance of this to our
people--the importance to the parents and the aged, of course, but above
all the importance to the students themselves.

It is assumed that everyone in our country is a student. It is assumed that
every child should be a student. What does that mean? That everyone born in
this country must prepare himself, train to serve his country, to serve his
fellow men, and to serve himself. Awareness of this must be created. The
day must come when not a single child, not a single loiterer goes without
schooling. The feeling must be created that the most serious crime that can
be committed against a human being and against society, the most serious
crime that can be committed by a father or a mother, is to permit his child
to not go to school. (applause)

That is the responsibility of parents, but it is also the responsibility of
society. A human being who is born and raised an illiterate is a mortgage
on society, a burden on society. One day it will be necessary to supply him
shoes, clothe him, feed him. It will be necessary to build a house for him
to live in, to produce the food he consumes, and to do everything. This is
because production in the future will be more and more mechanized in all
fields. In the future production will be more and more technical, more
scientific. In the future no one will be able to be useful in society if he
is an illiterate, if he is ignorant. A human being who is ignorant will be
like an anchor, a hindrance, a deadweight, a burden, and, in brief, an
enemy of his fellow men.

We may have become accustomed to ignorance in a society in which ignorance
was the general rule, but we do not believe that the human conscience will
(?resign) itself in the future to viewing an ignorant, incompetent person
as a perfectly normal thing. And it will be not the laws, not the coercive
force of the state, but social conscience which will give every citizen the
idea that one cannot commit the crime of raising an illiterate, or bringing
an ignoramus into the world. That is to say that all whom we bring into the
world are ignorant, but what must not be brought into the world are people
who will remain ignorant throughout their lives.

And that conscience must be formed. Society will work for the weak, for the
aged. Every aged person will have the right to have everything he needs,
and that is quite fair, because today's workers will be the aged of
tomorrow. It is the workers of today who are producing, working, and
creating for you, so that all youths of the country may study, so that all
children of the country may study. There will be a sacred duty to them, and
one day they must be repaid for what they are doing today for the future
generations. Society will work for the infirm, for the invalid. But society
will not be able to work for the lazy or the ignorant.

Remember this: Whenever a youth, whenever a child sees another who does not
study, he should think: "I will have to carry him on my back tomorrow, and
(few words indistinct) because he will be incapable of contributing to the
welfare of the rest; he will be incapable of contributing to the happiness
of his fellow man and will be a burden on society."

Naturally, there still exist a number of social circumstances that make
possible the existence or the development of an ignoramus or two, even the
existence of some vagrant youths, street corner boys, who go about being
mischievous in the street--as was said in my time. I think there is
something that caused this, and it was the problem of having only one
school session. Occasionally we passed through a small town, or sometimes
through a neighborhood in a big town, and we would see a bunch of boys in
the street, on a street corner, in a store--I do not say in a poolhall
because there no longer are any poolhalls--close to a bar, doing mischief.
And these kids, do they not go to school? "Yes, they go in the morning," or
"Yes, they go in the afternoon."

When we realized the seriousness of having hundreds of thousands of boys
without anything to do half the day, we were so concerned about it that we
told the education minister of the need to establish the double session as
soon as possible, despite our shortage of buildings and installations. This
must be said: the proposal had the cooperation of the teachers, and it must
be said that this significant step forward received the support and broad
cooperation of the teaching profession.

This brings to mind the problem that is one of the most serious we will
have: there are not enough schools. This is similar to what has occurred
with the housing problem, as with many other things. We do not have
sufficient materials, not enough cement, and the construction industry is
not sufficiently mechanized. Hence, we still have those needs, and we will
continue to have them for some time. However, it is characteristic of the
revolution that we devote all existing resources available to training. The
kind of schools we are planning for the future resemble not at all--not at
all--the school of today. That is why I said at the outset that we are not
satisfied with what we have--not at all.

We have chosen a place in Pinar del Rio where we are conducting a pilot
plan which gives us an idea of the future school in rural areas. We are
carrying out three pilot plans: one in Pinar del Rio, another in Las
Villas, and another in Oriente. What are these pilot plans like? Well, they
consist of the following: All children without exception will be able to
attend a children's nursery. These will therefore be spread throughout that
valley in rural areas. In a valley in Pinar del Rio we will have enough
children's nurseries so that all children can attend from morning until
night. This makes it possible for the women--the mothers--to participate in
productive activities. The children's clothing, the diapers, and all of
those things which take up so much of the mother's time in rural
areas--especially those who have 6 or 7 children, or those who (?take care)
of 13 or 14 children--those diapers, which are a lot, will be taken to the
laundry at the nursery, where this work is performed.

Domestic work, this business of sitting at the river's edge washing
diapers--something horrible--will end. This belongs more or less to the era
of Trucutu (laughter)--or very close to that age. The productive capacity
of a woman sitting at the edge of a river with a wooden tray at her side is
the productivity of a primitive age. With a good machine a few women can
wash all of the children's clothing of all the nurseries. This is clear,
isn't it? (audience shouts assent)

Now, these nurseries will be free, and the children will get their milk,
their food, and everything free. The nursery will be free for the women who
work. In the long run we might establish them for children from the very
beginning, for everyone, so that the child will not be deprived of anything
as the fault of his father, let us say. This way they will have good,
balanced meals, all the clothing they need, toys, and everything. The
children are brought in the morning and are picked up in the evening.

Now, children who are no longer of nursery age, from the first grade
through the fourth--because this is another problem--the nursery will solve
the problem of the little one, but the older one must eat. If the school
does not provide his lunch, he must return home and someone has to cook for
him. Sometimes there is an aunt, sometimes a grandmother, but sometimes
there is no one. Therefore, children attending the first through the fourth
grades will have their own kind of school. Children in these grades will be
up to eight or nine years of age, more or less. They will attend school
relatively close to home. These will not be very big schools, precisely so
that they can be built close to home. These children will go to school
Monday and return home Friday. (applause)

School teachings from the fourth grade to the basic secondary will house a
little more than 300 students. These children can walk a little farther.
They will go to school Monday and return home Friday. (applause) The entire
school population, all of the children, will then be attending school under
this new system. These are our plans for the school of the future.
Clothing, shoes, food--everything--will be free. We will be approaching the
communistic system. We will be approaching the communistic system!

Given a scientifically well-balanced diet with all the nutrients and
vitamins which the human body needs, it will make no difference if the
child has 1 brother or 10. The pay of a peasant will no longer have to
spread among 10 persons. We believe that the criterion of a human society
should be, not for one person to get less, but simply this: there are 10
persons at home and the father's wages are not sufficient to provide for
all its members the required calories, proteins, and vitamins--whatever is
needed--and the clothing, shoes, everything that is needed. A human body
simply must have what it needs. With the aid of man's technology, man can
produce to fill everyone's needs. Why? Because it would be a disgrace for
any human being to have seven brothers with whom to share the father's
wages. This breeds scarcity, then selfishness, then exploitation, poverty,
underdevelopment. Then it becomes a disgrace to have brothers. When we
finally manage to establish this system throughout the country--aha! All
the children will have all the food they need, whether there are 1, 2, or
20 at home. It will no longer be a problem for a mother to have one more

Gentlemen, some countries maintain that the solution lies in birth control.
This can be said only by the capitalists, the exploiters. No one who is
aware of what man can achieve with technology and science will ever
establish a limit upon the number of human beings who can exist on this
earth (applause), and much less a country which has enough land to supply a
much greater population than ours. Judging by these standards, the Siboney
Indians would have had to restrict births, because during Columbus' time
there were about 200,000 inhabitants in this country. At that time the
Indians ate, I suppose, vegetables which they cultivated, and did some
hunting and fishing. They ate game from the forest and fish from the sea.
(?Could we) supply a population of 7 million (?under this system)? No! It
is possible only because, naturally, labor productivity today is
incomparably greater than before. The Indians at that time did not even
have horses. To transport something they had to carry it on their backs.
They had no ships or railroads--nothing like that. With technology and
science we can produce enough to feed the population, no matter how large.

We hope to put our system to the test in those places. It will not doubt be
a great pleasure for all of you when the first region in the country has
this plan in effect and you will be able to visit it. Doubtless it will be
very interesting to behold. This will happen in the rural areas. Rural
youths will graduate from basic secondary schools and will go to
preuniversity institutes and technological schools. Children will attend
schools in the rural fields up to the basic secondary school level. These
students will learn farming, even though their attendance at rural schools
does not mean that their specialty will be agriculture, nor does it mean
that in the future students will specialize only above the basic secondary
school level. In the future we will have to have some students specialize
according to our needs at the level of technological schools. For
instance--and I want to use this as an example--if we remove the courses on
cattle breeding, all the experts we are now training will be trained at the
preuniversity level--at the preuniversity level.

In the future all citizens must complete at least the basic secondary
school. Beyond this they will get professional training. The problem for us
is to turn this idea into reality. We should start working toward this
technological training from the first grade, if possible. I am not
suggesting that things should be learned merely by rote. The children
should be taught not only theory but practice. They should be taught to
think in terms of the abstract, but they should also be taught practical
ideas and given practical knowledge. They should be taught from the nursery
stage, if possible, to handle production tools, to acquire simple
fundamental ideas so that they can become familiar with production methods.

We really have no idea how the children going to these elementary schools
can have a garden, something very simple. From the fourth grade up to basic
secondary they can participate in production. They can devote a certain
number of hours a year to farmwork in general. (applause) We will establish
in a definite manner the principle of combining the molding of the human
being with the molding of the citizen--in education and in work and
productive activities.

The schools in the cities will be different. We will also have the
children's nurseries in the cities, but the schools will not board
children. The schools will operate with semiboarders. In city schools the
children will go to school in the morning and return home after dinner at
night, or in the evening. Some people, however, have the idea that many
small towns in the rural areas should have rural-type schools even beyond
the fourth grade. If this suggestion were followed, we would have to build
thousands and thousands of such schools. It would therefore be very

We believe that by 1975 we will have sufficient rural schools to house 1
million children. (applause) Many of you, of course, will not be able to
attend these schools, but you can be certain that many of your children
will attend them. How does this strike you? Some of your brothers and
sisters might attend them, too. This is our plan for the school of the
future. Meanwhile, we must continue to make progress with what we have. It
is necessary to continue to develop the idea of the school in the rural

In this coming season, when spring arrives, the harvest will still be
incomplete. It will be necessary to start the planting, and we do not have
enough machinery. The day will come when all of these activities will be
mechanized and we must increase farm production. Early in the spring we
need a great deal of manpower. Most men will still be working to complete
the harvest when the planting season comes upon us and when weeding and
fertilizing must be accomplished. Hence, next season we will have to
achieve complete success in total mobilization. We will have to mobilize
from 100,000 to 150,000 youths to do farmwork for six weeks. (applause)

We will try to be well organized this year. We will mobilize all our
resources, all those little tents we now have at the beach and all the
tents we can make--because if we have no housing we can make do with tents
under good organization. (applause) Mobile we must. And in so doing we must
mobilize Camaguey Province. We expect to mobilize 50,000 youths in the
spring. (applause) In this effort you, the monitors, members of the
vanguards (applause), must indeed be in the vanguard. (applause) We might
need you for 42 days, perhaps for 6 weeks, approximately. Not all will go
at the same time. In some provinces, depending on the rains, groups will
leave earlier. Other provinces will get them later. This will be part of
the training for our youth.

The day will come when this force--as a practical labor force--will never
be lacking, although we will always have some project under way, some idea
that we will pursue. The day we no longer need this force we will have to
invent a way of utilizing efforts of this nature, because we believe that
this will help mold character. It places youth in contact with the
production effort. It will create in him an awareness that it takes work to
produce the material goods which man requires. It requires effort, the use
of energy, and the application of intelligence.

It is very bad, extremely bad, for the child, the youth to become
accustomed to receiving everything from his parents or from
society--whichever the case might be--without having the least idea that
the things he receives, the material goods, require productive efforts, the
application of intelligence, and the strength in a man's arms. We believe
that a youth who grows up without any idea of how an ear of corn is
produced--a fruit, sugar, textiles, meat, milk, and food--we believe that a
youth who has no idea of how these things are produced simply grows up
ignorant of something that is fundamental. Without an idea of all this he
will group up a deformed youth.

Do not forget something which is the goal of our society, of our
revolution: someday menial and intellectual work will be done by virtually
everyone--everyone. There will be no one person or citizen carrying
exclusively intellectual work, just as there will be no one person doing
exclusive manual, physical work. This will be possible through the
development of technology. The day will come when a reduced work week and a
minimum of working hours will be sufficient. All persons doing menial work
will then be able to carry out intellectual work, and the intellectual
workers can engage in menial tasks.

We have become accustomed to seeing societies divided into intellectuals
and non-intellectuals. You can understand perfectly well that, in view of
the development of education and the pace we are setting in our country,
the day will come when this division will disappear. The day will come when
human beings no longer will have to do brute work alone; when citizens no
longer will do only brute, manual work; when it will no longer be true that
only menial, physical work is performed. The intellectual man also becomes
calloused doing intellectual work exclusively. You cannot imagine anyone
more useless than an individual accustomed to doing only intellectual work.
When he rides on the street and the car tire or bus tire goes flat and one
must push the vehicle, this kind of man is helpless when confronted by
nature. When this kind of man sees a river flooding over a road and he is
stranded on the other side, he is terror-stricken. He does not know how to
cut wood, how to start a fire or boil a potato. There is nothing more
horrid than to be an intellectual only or to be merely a performer of
mechanical work that requires muscle and manpower, without exercising the

The day will come, however--and this will be the product of a human society
under a new social regime--when all citizens will be menial workers as well
as intellectual workers. The day will come when work will be performed in
only one shift--a shift of four or five hours. All of you students know
perfectly well that when you are taking examinations and have had to study
particularly hard, nothing pleases you more than to set the books aside and
spend a day of relaxation at the beach or in the fields, doing anything
except reading. (applause) The same thing happens to anyone doing physical
labor day in and day out. Nothing would please a person more than to give
his intelligence a workout.

This day must come! This day has to come! Our educational system must
develop toward the formation of this kind of citizen. It must develop to
fulfill this need for the formation of manual laborers who are also
intellectual workers. Our education, within our socialist revolution, must
become a vanguard institution, because its tasks, its illustrious task, its
extremely important task, will be precisely that of molding the citizen,
preparing the citizen, training the citizen to adapt mentally and
physically to live in this world--a world different from the one we have
known up to now. This is the revolution. This is the great task of the

Many of you when you get your vacations would like to go somewhere--to a
new place, a new place of nature, a new road, a new mountain. Man always
seeks something new. A human being seeks a new path, a new life. Within the
revolution the human being collectively satisfies his need for progress,
for advancement, for creativity. He seeks loftier ways of living to make
man's life more perfect. This is the revolution. This is the collective
effort of a revolution. I believe that you understand this perfectly well.

I believe that, fortunately, our youth, better than anyone else, is
equipped to understand this. I believe that no other sector of our society
has more possibilities of succeeding in a revolutionary sense than our
youth and our children. You are already participating at a high level in
our revolution, because what you do as monitors, what you accomplish as
participants in the scientific-technological clubs, what you do as members
of the vanguards, what you achieve as competitors is revolutionary.
Whatever you do places you at the vanguard among our students. (applause)
What you do places you at the head. What you do places you in the forefront
among our youth and our children.

As a vanguard you will have to blaze a trail. A vanguard must open up the
way. It must clear a path. It explores, investigates, and points the way
for the others. Vanguards are the ones who do the research in the
scientific clubs. You are the vanguards, each one of you individually.
Collectively your are the vanguard of our students. (applause; audience
shouts: "The pines! The pines!") You planted the pines, but this is not
enough. We must now fertilize them every year. Otherwise those pines will
take 30 years to grow. (applause)

The pines have already been planted. We cannot abandon the pines and let
them grow by themselves. It is not enough to plant them; we must step up
their growth so that they will be ready for cutting within 10 or 12 years
and we will not have to wait 30 years. Our need for furniture and so forth
is great. How many millions of pines have you sown? That is the only thing
that is not indicated here. (audience shouts: "Two million") If we cut them
when they have grown to 200 feet, we will have 400 million feet of lumber.
That is something. (applause) We can make from them perhaps thousands of
bedroom and dining room suites, and all those things. Very well, we must
give greater attention to these activities with each passing year.

Next year this exposition put on by the scientific-technological clubs must
be even better, more developed. It will have to be seen by more people,
because it is a pity that more people living only 173 miles away did not
get to see the exposition. We must create conditions for making this
exposition better next year. We must create conditions for making your
contests and the monitors meetings even better with each successive year.
They should become successively more developed, more brilliant, and more
important. (applause)

This is the path--this is the path--and the educational organizations, of
course. must encourage this effort and this path. We wish to take this
opportunity to make a proposition to all of the comrades who participated
in the contests, to all of the monitor comrades, all of the comrades, that
is, the comrades in the clubs--the monitors, the contestants who
collectively number about 1,000. We noticed that many of the comrades
belonging to the scientific-technological clubs are working, for instance,
in livestock genetics. They have not had an opportunity to see the progress
being made, the various breeds. That is, they still lack contact with many
of our realities. The comrades who are engaged in citrus cultivation and
grafting, in all that sort of thing, have not been exposed to production
activities on a national scale. I feel certain that if they were able to
establish contact with these developing phases, they could develop more
effectively and more swiftly.

The idea arose in the Ministry of Education to organize a school which
would have several levels of various scientific, technological, and other
disciplines, where new teaching methods would be applied and where the
drive for research would be encouraged--a school that can serve as a model
of what our schools of the future should be like. (applause) We would like
to grant the right to a scholarship to study at that school to all youths
and children who participated in the scientific-technological clubs
(applause) and to all the monitors here present (applause) and all those
who participated in the contests.

We are going to try to make it a good school, a great school, a modern
school; a school that will provide the conditions in which students can
train in various vocations and get the utmost from them; a school that will
serve as a prize, as a stimulus to those who have exerted efforts
(applause); a school that will serve as a vanguard, as a pilot, as a model
of what future schools should be in our country. (applause)

Hence, I would like to urge you to enter this school. Of course, the
activities you are now engaged in at your various places will be done by
others. It will be necessary to develop other monitors and other groups
interested in science and technology and vanguard activities. We believe
that this will please you immensely. It will also please your parents to
know that, as a prize, as a reward for accomplished tasks, for effort and
for displayed enthusiasm, the revolution is giving you this opportunity and
is inviting you to accept and to participate in this effort to create a
school that might be used as a vanguard school. (applause) This school
might house 900 to 1,000 students. We believe that it can become an
institution that will generate much interest and will bring much prestige
to our country. (audience shouts: "When?")

If you wish, tomorrow, right away. (applause) We are going to give you a
few days' vacation, but only a few. We are going to see how fast we can
organize this school. (applause) So you can start drawing up your plans for
this coming school term. We must perform some diplomatic negotiations for
this school year. We must get a building which we think is very good for
this--and all the other things. We must move fast. We will let you know in
due time. Inasmuch as I promised you that I would be brief, I will merely
congratulate each one of you comrades with all my heart. Fatherland or
death, we will win!