Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

-DATE-
19720925
-YEAR-
1972
-DOCUMENT_TYPE-
SPEECH
-AUTHOR-
F. CASTRO
-HEADLINE-
SCHOOL DEDICATION
-PLACE-
HAVANA
-SOURCE-
HAVANA DOMESTIC SVC
-REPORT_NBR-
FBIS
-REPORT_DATE-
19720927
-TEXT-
CASTRO CLOSING SPEECH AT SCHOOL DEDICATION

Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 2112 GMT 25 Sep 72 F

[Speech delivered by Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro at the dedication
ceremonies of the 13th Congress rural secondary school at th Flor de Itabo
valley of the Camilo Cienfuegos Region in Havana Province--live, with
simultaneous telecast and international service]

[Text] Guests, comrade workers, professors, students, student relatives and
area residents: Last year, on the 20th of September, when the sixth school
of this type of rural secondary school was built in Guane, we explained how
a great number of students was increasing the number of basic secondary
school students. Even though several schools were completed during that
year, that amounted to practically nothing when compared with the number of
new students entering the basic secondary schools.

We explained that for this and many other reasons the plan to construct 25
schools that had been considered for the year 1972 had to be revised, and
that a great effort was going to be made to attempt to increase the number
of schools to 40. We said that the 40 new secondary schools were not enough
to assimilate all the new students. Since then, the construction sector has
committed itself to constructing those 40 schools. It has not been an easy
task.

As you can see, these schools require great amounts of material of all
kinds--above all, finishing material, beginning with paint right up to
installation of electric equipment. In addition, the year just ended has
been a very wet one. There has been much rain. This tested the
determination and hard work of the construction workers. However, the
efforts have fulfilled the plan and overfulfilled the basic secondary
school plan, because the truth of the matter is that the plan called for 4,
but 44 secondary schools are being dedicated right now. [applause]

There are 44 new schools completed after 20 September of last year. They
were completed during that period, but most of them were constructed in the
months around September. The number of completed schools includes two in
Guane [Fidel shuffles papers], 12 in Pinar del Rio, that is by provinces,
17 in Havana, four in Isle of Pines, four in Matanzas, eight in Las Villas,
12 in Camaguey and seven in Oriente.

But the construction brigades have not limited their efforts to
constructing these schools. There are dozens and dozens of new schools in
different phases of construction, because all brigades follow a routine.
They finish laying down the foundation of one school and move on to
another. The brigades that build upon the foundation follow them. In this
manner, when some 40 schools are completed, there is a larger number of
schools under construction.

Despite the fact that 44 are completed, the number of students entering
basic secondary schools this year, the increase of students matriculating,
is larger than the amount of students that can enter these 44 schools. Then
we have the students that are going to train as teachers and in other
fields, just at the secondary school level, and approximately 30,000 new
students have registered. So, despite our efforts, the registration is much
higher than the number of schools.

At the time, we also talked about the plans for 1973, 1974 and 1975. We
talked about construction in 1975 so that we could have approximately 300
schools. We talked about reaching a construction capacity of 100 per year
in 1975. Later, we analyzed all possibilities more and more in proportion
to the number of steel rod plants we had in operation. As these were
completed, the concrete plants began operating. New installations were
constructed. A study was made of such a possibility, and it was noted that
it was still possible to make a greater plan.

This of course was done without forgetting the increase in housing
construction, the increase in the construction of dairy farms, the increase
in industrial construction, the expenditures of materials in maintenance
work. It was decided to increase secondary school construction. This is not
the secondary schools alone, it includes secondary schools, polytechnical
schools, technological institutes and teacher training schools.

When we talk about capacities, we are referring to the capacity of one
school of this type. When we say that capacities for 22,000 students have
been created, we mean 44 such schools. We are also constructing other types
of schools to which we made reference, and which represent capacities for
secondary level students, because the teacher training schools admit
students who have graduated from sixth grade, or students from
technological institutes, or students from preuniversity schools, as is the
case with vocational schools.

In 1973 we will attain a much higher figure than the one anticipated for
1975. For 1975 we were considering the possibility of building schools to
hold 50,000 students, yet next year we shall build schools for about 80,000
students. [applause]

We now have more than 100 fully organized brigades. Most of these are
building secondary schools, polytechnic schools, teachers-training schools,
technological institutes, and other types of schools, like the vocational
school construction that is already underway in Havana Province.

We estimate that if we maintain the same pace we have been working at this
year, keeping in mind the increased experience of our builders, the
development of the construction materials industry, the increased
productivity of the brigades, it will be possible to create the above
mentioned classroom space. In other words, we shall have almost four times
the school space we created this year. To this must be added the quality of
the builders and their additional effort. We analyzed what was built in a
year--and a year always ends in December. We exerted the additional effort
and completed the year in September. Thus, when the commitment was made, it
was made for September. In other words we are calculating from September to
September. So, if we counted every month this year, we could complete a few
more schools by December. But we shall not count those schools. We shall
include them in the classroom space of 1973. That is, the additional
classrooms built between September of 1972 and September of 1973 will be
counted that way, for 1973.

And next year, when those schools have been built, the classroom space will
exceed, for the first time, the increase in the number of
intermediate-level students. This means that if next year 35,000 students
register, or if the increase is 40,000, or even 50,000, we shall still have
a capacity of 30,000 over the total increase.

And undoubtedly, if we consider the tremendous gain in education in Cuba,
and the tremendous increased registration at the intermediate level, we are
greatly increasing the total number of students, a notable gain.

Obviously, this means that a much larger number of students can be
incorporated into this system. Thus, if 30,000 new students enter school,
these can be absorbed and some 15,000 or 20,000 of those who used to enter
the old system will enter this new work-study system.

On the other hand, the classroom space currently being used in the cities
will increase the capacity of these elementary schools. In other words, as
we build basic secondary schools in the rural areas, we are simultaneously
opening up classrooms for children to be taken into this optimum
educational system. And at the same time we are freeing classroom space--we
are opening up space in the urban primary schools.

It is known that not all the students, not in the slightest, are studying
under the best conditions. It is known that frequently only one session of,
classes can be given due to shortage of classroom space. Thus, the program
of building secondary schools has the advantage--not just of providing the
possibility of combining work and study, but also the possibility of
expanding capacity for the primary schools.

So, next year, primary school space will be greatly expanded because a
number of students who would enter these schools, the schools in cities,
will register in schools like these.

At the last youth congress, a detailed analysis was made regarding the
plans to implement these programs between the present time and 1980.
Thought was given to the possibility-- precisely due to our increased
building capacity and productivity--of incorporating into this work-study
system a total of a million students by 1980.

In order to achieve that target it was necessary to implement this plan. It
will be necessary to fulfill the plan for next year. Unfortunately, we
still cannot increase school construction in 1974 and 1975. This is because
we are at the peak of output of construction material.

The fact is we are engaged in building dairies, housing, and all other
buildings. Nonetheless, we are negotiating to expand the construction
materials industry. We are contracting for new cement plants, plants which
in the next 5-year period will allow us to raise the output of cement to
about 5 million tons annually.

In 1973 we will be turning out 2 million tons of cement, possibly a little
more. That is the target that has been set. But we are already at peak
production now. We are creating new possibilities so that in 1975--and
above all in 1976--we will have much more cement available. And with that
we can push the housing program much higher. The program of economic
construction, and also our school building program can be increased once we
produce 5 million tons of cement and when we have much more experience in
building. Then we can virtually accomplish whatever we wish.

We also are raising our output of corrugated tin so as to double its
production at the Antillana de Acero steel mill. We are negotiating for new
mills for producing sanitation--bathroom and kitchen--equipment and other
essential goods.

We have acquired much equipment for producing terrazo tile. There are very
modern plants which require a minimum number of workers. We have had to
build the floors of many of these schools with the traditional method. But
we have one terrazo plant in operation and five more are under
construction. The capacity of these will be some 400,000 square meters
each.

Those who were present at the construction workers plenum will recall the
analysis that was made on the construction of floors with ceramic tile. In
order to produce the amount of ceramic tile needed--let us say by 1975--we
would need some 4,000 workers. But it was brought out that only 400 workers
would be needed to produce the same 400,000 square meters of terrazo.

By producing terrazo tiles and using them instead of ceramic tiles, we gain
first of all in quality, we have a 10 times higher productivity figure, and
a higher output by those who lay terrazo tiles instead of ceramic tiles. We
have done this without giving up the ceramic tiles that we manufacture
because, as we have said, we cannot give up anything, not even a single
brick, not even one ceramic tile, because we need this ceramic tile, As
long as we have one small broken down factory, even though old, it will
manufacture one ceramic at a time, one brick at a time.

The use of new technology does not imply that we give up in any way any
aspect of the old technology. We cannot afford the luxury of giving up one
brick or one ceramic tile, even if their productivity is much lower. Yet
the system being used in the construction of floors increasingly now is the
one involving terrazo tiles. We have purchased five plants and we will
continue to purchase more in the future in order to supply the housing
construction programs if they are to satisfy our needs. These have to reach
the figure of 100,000 or higher. All aspects of the construction material
industry have to increase, involving all types of materials.

It is true that with what we use in the construction of one of these
schools, we could build about 150 dwellings. We can neither devote
everything to the construction of schools nor everything to the
construction of dwellings. The construction of dwellings has increased. By
1973, we anticipate that it will increase by 6 or 7 times the construction
of dwellings in 1970. The program of dairy farm construction is higher than
that of 1970; by 1973, it will reach the total of 600 dairy farms. Both
programs increasing side by side.

We acknowledge that about 40,000 dwellings is still a very small number. We
have to find ways to increase it to at least 50,000. We know that this is
insufficient. Even though many buildings are under construction, our total
needs are great. But, in general, with the material foundation that is
being created, the new construction techniques, the increase in
productivity, and so forth, as soon as the foundation is developed during
the next 5 years, we will be able to do in the field of school construction
and in any other type of construction whatever we wish.

That is why by attaining a certain level or capacity by 1973, a capacity
sufficient to provide for about 80,000 new students and the increase we
attain in the construction materials industry in the next 5 years, we will
adequately fulfill the program for a million students in 1980.

When we accomplish this, we are also aware that we will have attained the
greatest educational revolution every known by any country, [applause] the
massive use of the best educational system, with the participation in the
economic development by all our youth. There is an obvious principle
involved here. A poor country cannot provide an education for all, expect
under one condition: that is, if all participate in productive activities.
Because if this is not done, some would have to be condemned to no
education at all and some to study.

The participation of youth in programs for development and productive
programs will also enable the country to do whatever it pleases in the
field of education. Today, the cost of education is nearly 500 million
dollars. By 1980 the value of production of 1 million youths will be well
above the total cost of education, even if the cost of education surpasses
1 billion dollars. This is quantitative, but we also have to consider the
qualitative aspect. What will be the conditions under which that youth will
be studying? There is a qualitative order, not material alone, but a
qualitative matter in the educational field.

All these schools will be incubators of new experiences and new knowledge.
They will be incubators for new cadres and new leaders in the field of
education. What will be the conditions in our country when we have a
million youths registered in this system by 1980? We will need tens of
thousands of teachers and educational cadres, whose average age will be
under 25. That will be the average age of the teachers. I believe that the
country which is able to create that will be able to create unlimited
possibilities in the field of social development, of technical development,
of educational development.

This is not a matter of school buildings alone, because the only thing we
had were the youngsters, who have grown up, and as a result of the
development of primary education are massively increasing in numbers every
year, and in some places more than in others. Recently, in a visit paid to
the Pilon area, we walked along a rural road and there were houses on
either side. There were lots of children. We cannot say it any other way:
just lots of children. It was unbelievable.

In many ways, the country has seen the results of that growth in population
in many places. We did not have the schools, that is the truth of the
matter. We did not have the teachers. When we solved the problem of
constructing the schools in theory, and by this I do not mean just any old
school, we had to tackle the problem of solving the shortage of teachers.
How could we solve this? Those who had registered at the teacher training
school and the universities were not enough to make up but a very small
portion of the number required.

That is why after the conclusion of the youth congress we issued a call to
the 10th grade students to register as teachers, and the response was
great. Nearly 4,000 students answered our call. Of course, the response by
4,000 does not mean that we actually have that many. Then we have those who
complete their training, those who register, those who confirm their
commitment. But, all in all, as a result of that movement, more than 2,000
have been recruited into the teaching profession. We must continue this
movement. We cannot permit it to weaken because that is the other
foundation of the program, namely the development of the teacher-cadres.

The teacher problem is solved. Thus, we have the three things needed: the
youths, whom we had from the beginning, the schools and the teachers. There
is another aspect in this matter and that is productive activity in
connection with the development of agricultural programs. All these schools
will be located in areas involved with those agricultural programs.

All those schools shall be placed within those programs. In view of the
large number of schools, we must be careful in situating each school. We
must insure that their location represents an increase in productive
activities. We must not duplicate what is being done elsewhere. We must
exercise the utmost care in selecting and locating the construction sites.

It is not just the basic secondary schools but also the polytechnical
schools that are being built in rural areas. These are being built around
the factories and the sugar mills. This is another highly important
program. Students of a different level will attend the polytechnic schools,
however. They will be of higher inter-mediate or other age levels. Twelve
to 16-year-old children will attend the secondary schools--or those 1 or 2
years younger or older.

To attend polytechnic schools, students must be a minimum of 16 years of
age. These may be students who are at the regular study level or who have
been held back 1 or 2 years in secondary schools, for example, a
16-year-old who has completed the sixth grade. It would not be right to
send him to a secondary school. He is too old, too mature, for that. And it
would be only logical to send him to a different type--a polytechnical
school. There, with 3 years of study the student could become a
well-trained worker, one who can work in industry. But at the same time he
could continue higher studies, in all an adult-teaching school.

Thus, any young man has the possibility of undertaking any kind of study.
And the time will come when a 13 or 14 year-old fourth grade youth should
not be kept in a primary school, as is the custom. Such a youth should
attend a school like this one, in other words a primary school in a rural
area for slow-learning children.

Then too, there are the vocational schools--like the one in Bento--and
others which are especially built in order to enable them to produce
industrial products. Industries will be built near the schools which will
have tasks that can be performed by such students.

Overall, the school will go to the factory. And, in turn, some factories
will go to certain schools. This entire scheme must be carefully examined
by the [Education] Ministry, by the economic organizations so the program
will not be distorted, so that the ideas conceived and the development of
the ideas can be applied forthrightly.

The possibility of completing this program has been due to the efforts of
the construction workers, plus the cooperation of various organizations.
And, on occasion, this was facilitated by the massive help of the local
people. Also cooperating were young men of the "Followers of Camilo and
Che" organization, cadres of the labor movement, and also comrades of the
Interior Ministry, one of whose forces built a splendid school--the 19
April School--in record time.

Then too, there are the workers of the microbrigades, who also have built
several schools. And the people in general have also participated in this
effort. I believe we have here many local people who "placed their grain of
sand" in building this school in one way or another.

As you can see, the design of this school is different from the first ones.
Material and work were saved. This does not have two buildings like others.
In other words, it does not have three buildings, like that one, which has
three. This one has one building, but the other two have been merged into a
longer, higher edifice. These two buildings are joined not only by the
lower corridor, but by a second corridor--that was the former roof of the
old corridor.

Thus we have an upper and lower ramp, which facilitates the movement of
students. This is a technological advance--the work of the designers and
planners of these schools, which has made for a saving of work and
material.

The school, therefore, has lost nothing in beauty. On the contrary, it has
gained in height. At least it can be seen from a greater distance, and we
suppose that it is a lot fresher there on the fourth floor. All the other
installations are the same. The sports fields, the lawns, are the same,
although the school has been completed so recently that the lawns are still
growing, and some plants still need to be planted.

The inauguration of this school has been dedicated to honor and recognize
the comrades of the labor movement who participated in building it. Labor
cadres have worked in all the provinces. We should note that the
construction of this school was begun last March. In March of this year, it
was that month that the labor cadres arrived--perhaps with just picks and
shovels. For in those early days there were no steam shovels nor the
equipment which that force of men who, determined to be builders, now
possess.

It makes us cringe to recall their initial difficulties, how they
frantically sought a steam shovel everywhere, their lack of a truck, in
fact, lack of everything. Furthermore, no priority had been set for this
school. Others within the 40-school program had been given priority. Yet
they made up their mind to finish this school in September too. And it was
only later that material could be provided in increased quantity.

In other words, this school was built in less than 6 months. [applause]
What is more, many of the men were building for the first time. And it was
here that they demonstrated the spirit of our labor movement. They overcame
lack of experience, initial obstacles, the lack of priority attention and
the shortage of equipment. The fact is that it was a brigade that faced
shortages for a year. No equipment had been assigned this brigade. This was
because no one thought these men would continue being builders. And we even
opposed exerting any pressure on them to keep them building.

Why was this? It was a matter of trust. If the labor movement cooperated
and organized this brigade, we did not want to give the impression that we
were going to renege on our word. For in point of fact we had requested
cooperation for one year, and we did not want this to run longer than that.

But when we visited this school, we could see the tremendous interest these
working comrades had. We could see their determination, their wishes, their
will to continue to be part of a school-construction brigade.

If we had rejected their support, we would have faced another problem. But
then we said that each case had to be considered separately, In the first
place, no one could be recruited under moral pressure, or because he felt
that he was morally obligated. In the second place, we had to bear in mind
where each of them had been working, whether as a cadre of the union
movement and therefore irreplacable or whether as a cadre in the industry
in question and if as a result of the task he had there, it would be
harmful to the economy to transfer him to the construction front. Once all
of this was analyzed, then it became feasible to create a brigade utilizing
the manpower of such cadres.

In taking advantage of the selective procedure--because they are leaders of
the labor movement, comrades who have enjoyed the trust of their fellow
comrades--the brigade could become some sort of training brigade, in which
youths could be admitted so that they would receive the benefit of training
and learn the techniques, in order to become well aware of the spirit of
the brigade.

There could be a program of study, of training on the part of the members
of the brigade, because of the dire need for cadres in the construction
sector. This brigade could construct polytechnic schools, and as soon as
they complete their next construction job, which is some sort of
agricultural-livestock school for cattle breeding, they will proceed to
construct a polytechnic institute for 1,000 students, part of the Enrique
Jose Varona industry. This is the stainless steel boiler factory.

Among their goals is the construction of this school during the upcoming
year, so that they can have a program of study and work, training qualified
workers. They will also participate in production tasks. This means that
for every school of this type that is built, 500 full-time workers are
recruited in production, because there are 1,000 working every 4 hours. It
has been demonstrated that in general the students of that level both
fulfill and overfulfill production norms. If we bear in mind their
knowledge, it is not hard to see that they can easily overfulfill their
tasks in 4 hours.

They will continue constructing the polytechnic school, which is the same
as continuing to create educational centers, which is the same as
continuing to create workers, laborers of agriculture. They go from labor
leaders to creators of working masses. With the current level of
productivity, every year they will be able to recruit at least that many
more. One hundred fifty or 200 of you could surely build the equivalent of
three schools such as this. There is something else. If 150 is not enough,
200 or 220 of you can do it. But, in the final analysis, at least by
building a polytechnic school of this type you could recruit the equivalent
of 500 workers in 8-hour shifts for industrial productor.

I hope this has been taken up with the general Organization of Cuban
Workers and that satisfactory arrangements have been made. There is the
possibility of transforming the 13th congress brigade into a school
brigade. As an acknowledgement of the labor movement, this school will be
called the 13th congress school. [applause]

Right now, at 44 different places in the country, students are
participating in the inauguration of this school program. There is no other
way of carrying out the dedication ceremonies. When there were just a few
schools, we held dedication ceremonies at Ceiba One, another at Ceiba
Three, another in Guane, another in Isle of Pines, and another in Jaguey or
Veguitas, or Camaguey, or in the Escambray. These schools are being
constructed everywhere, they can be seen everywhere, in the lowlands and in
the mountains. They are changing the social panorama and even changing the
educational panorama. It is impossible to inaugurate school by school,
because we would have to inaugurate a school every 2 and a half days at
least, at the most every 3 days. There is no one who could endure that many
dedication ceremonies.

Here, we have to hold dedication ceremonies of large numbers at the same
time once a year. Now we have to consider the operation of these schools.
The cooperation of the educational authorities is needed in this case, as
well as the economic authorities and the productive authorities. In the
case of agriculture, this school is located on a vegetable and tuber farm,
part of the agricultural plan of the group dealing with cattle raising in
eastern Havana. The workers and the families of this region will produce
milk, and are producing it at an increasing volume, During the current year
alone, some 100 dairy farms are under construction.

Some of them have been completed and others are under construction. There
are very valuable animals in the area. The cattle industry is making great
progress here. Many lots that were full of rocks have been cleared and have
been converted into grazing land. Roads are under construction, as well as
dams. This is a true revolution.

This program for vegetable and tuber farming has made it possible for the
families to participate in it. There is more milk. They eat more tubers and
vegetables and of a better quality. Better than the ones they ate before.
In general, this school will be attended by students from this region. The
families of the students wanted to work in the cattle industry, or in the
cane fields, or in other activities.

Next year, there will be a similar school in a vegetable and tuber farm for
the workers of the Bainoa cane program. So we will have another school like
this one in the Bainoa Valley, which will be attended by the children of
the workers working in that program. This implies a great assurance for the
supply of vegetables and tubers, the consumption of which is very high.

In all the small towns under construction, there is a primary school
offering study and work. They have their orchard of 20 or 25 hectares. The
retired people living in the town help the students in the orchards of the
primary schools. Near this place, we have two primary schools in Aguacate,
which have orchards. So the system requires that the students work from the
primary school level on. Every town will have a school orchard with the
help of the more experienced persons, those who are retired. They will
produce for the school and for the small town. Later on, when they finish
school, they will produce for the whole plan until they reach the
polytechnic school or technological institute level.

Thus, the system is being gradually integrated, and progressively being
applied to primary teaching. Think of the advantages this means for the
society of the future. Think what it means: that from the primary grade,
children begin participating in productive activities--not, however, as a
diversion, but training. Then too, it will be a useful, valuable productive
activity.

This is an overall integration of the community into the economy, with the
family; this is a good example. Next year, under the construction program,
the province which will have to work the hardest is Oriente. Almost as many
secondary, polytechnic, teacher-training, and other schools must be built
in Oriente as have been built throughout the country.

It must be kept in mind that Oriente is large, and the largest undertakings
are there. Oriente also has the largest agricultural and mining potentials.
The Oriente program is very extensive. This program was started first in
the western region. It began to be developed first in the west, but this
has not been extended to all the country. Oriente will have major programs.
And both Camaguey and Havana provinces will too. But generally speaking,
all the programs are important--those of the Isle of Pines, Pinar del Rio,
Matanzas, Havana, Las Villas, Camaguey, and Oriente.

This program is being carried out across the country. It has been a virtual
feat to create all the necessary conditions. For the construction material
industry had existed only in the west. The technology and plans for this
type of school, the factories for turning out material, have been
established; various solutions for a great number of problems have been
found. In a word, many things had to be resolved to achieve this.

We sincerely believe that our country can feel pleased over the progress of
this construction program. And many visitors are filled with admiration on
seeing these educational buildings under construction. Many international
organizations, including the various organizations of UNESCO, are taking
account of and observing this system with the utmost interest.

And more and more institutions in various parts of the world are interested
in the trend here. As you are aware, the three universities incorporated
into the study and work plans. Tens of thousands of university students are
participating in productive activities, in industries, in hospitals, in
schools, tens of thousands [applause] virtually all the university students
of the country. [applause]

And this has been accomplished during the course of the present year. In
addition, thousands upon thousands of workers have had the opportunity, by
means of the mechanisms that were adopted, to apply this system. In many
cases this is tantamount to taking the university to the factory. Thousands
upon thousands of workers have been able to register for university
studies.

On the other hand, from the pedagogic standpoint, the results have been
very good. The school which has graduated the highest number of students
was a secondary rural school. Ceiba 1 school led the rural schools.
[applause] Some 94 percent of the students passed their final exams the
first time.

And there is another, Ceiba 3 school, which also had 94 percent students
passing. [applause] Though there were no 10th grade students there. The
fact that Ceiba 3 had 10th grade students allowed it to lead the others. In
any event, the effort of achieving 94 percent among all the schools--though
naturally all schools seek to achieve higher figures--was a singular
achievement.

In Havana a group of secondary rural schools was already functioning. There
were seven or eight. No, there were seven or eight throughout the country
up to September of last year. There were five in Havana. The average
percentage of passing students--and this includes the special exams--in all
of Havana's schools was 94 percent. [applause] In the boarding schools, the
figure was 84 percent. This means the traditional-system schools... this
was 12.45 points higher than the traditional schools. [as heard] Fifteen
point eight percent more passing students.

Unquestionably, the superior quality of this type of school is being shown.
Nevertheless this is something new.

It will now be necessary to gather together the experiences gained, for it
is no longer a matter of two, three or four schools, inasmuch as we now
have 51 rural schools. And of this total, 50 schools are of this type, and
one, the first, is of another type; and beginning next year we will have
100 various-type rural schools... [sentence incomplete].

This will allow us to build up our experience, and in this regard we shall
have to systematize the process of accumulating experience. We must find a
way of gathering experiences every year. In some way we must bring together
the directors of schools--and I am not going to say in a very long meeting,
for they have a lot of work to do--and the teachers also must take some
refresher courses during the summer.

Nevertheless, we must have some kind of an annual meeting, even though
briefly, in order to exchange teaching opinions and experiences. Imagine
what a pedagogic encyclopedia could be compiled at such a meeting, and
imagine what training possibilities could be derived from juxtaposing
experiences. The answer to why some schools have a high percentage of
students who pass and other schools fall short might be discovered.

It is necessary to adopt the legal principle that the percentage of
students who pass in any secondary rural school having this material base
and installation cannot fall below 90 percent. But this does not imply that
we should be satisfied with 90 percent.

We believe that the best results are obtained in the measure that the
students have undertaken in their problems, attempted to pass, and
participated in that struggle. Naturally, grades must be passed and the
optimum fulfillment of the productive programs must be achieved.

Elsewhere we have pointed out the importance of having school principals
participate as well and show concern for the problems of the region, the
problems outlined in the plans. They must also show a vigilant awareness,
and urge all students to achieve better progress and a better quality of
work. The fact that they are school cadres does not give them the right to
remain indifferent to the situation around them, to the manner in which
productive and revolutionary work is developing in the area immediately
around the school. They must contribute their knowledge, their
organizational abilities. Do not forget that the countryside is the most
backward part of the country. Do not forget that the country is not a
modern industry. Do not forget to bear in mind the educational levels of
the countryside, in many cases of the towns that are within the programs,
of the men who operate the equipment and leave responsibilities. We must
bear all of this in mind. Do not imagine a paradise, that everything is
progressing ideally.

There are many men working in the countryside who have a low level of
education. This low level of education sometimes leads them to make
mistakes, to being unaware, to imperfections, to carelessness, to
negligence. They lack the demand for quality. The demand for quality must
be a principle to an educational cadre. That is why they are assigned the
responsibility of educating the new generations. The awareness of quality
must prevail, and that awareness must not be restricted to the school but
must be transmitted to the environment surrounding the school. In other
words, the cadres must exercise their cultural influence and their
revolutionary influence in that environment, the environment surrounding
the school.

It should not only be an educational center in a productive center, it must
also be an example. It must enlighten with its political awareness, its
revolutionary awareness, the demand for quality, and the demand for duty.
There are many hopes pinned on this new generation, which is emerging from
the secondary schools. More and more, it will emerge from the rural
secondary schools. The day will come when we will have teachers who began
working in the orchards at the primary school level, studied in a secondary
school and became teachers while teaching following graduation from the
10th grade, teaching and studying.

It is clear that there are wonderful projects, the ones that we have at
hand. Only we can take advantage of them to the utmost. Only we are
responsible if we do not take effective advantage of them. In this future
we have at hand, we must be aware of our duty to carry it out fully. We
believe that no one has ever had possibilities such as these, no group of
teachers, no group of youths. Schools such as these are being constructed
in series, in programs. They have been called Jaguey 1, Jaguey 2, Ceiba 1,
Ceiba 2, Ceiba 3. But, we are not satisfied with that.

We have decided to name the schools, and different points of view are being
considered with respect to selecting the names of friendly countries, names
of outstanding international combatants, names of men who have given their
lives for science and technology, names of our compatriots, of combatants
throughout history, from the beginning of the struggle for independence up
to the present day, names of Cubans who have distinguished themselves such
as the comrade nurse who dies while serving in Vietnam. [applause]

These schools will pay tribute with their names and with friendship,
fraternity, internationalism, heroism and fulfillment of duty. All schools
and their teachers and students must struggle and work so that the name
borne by the school will be a true tribute. We have great hopes. We have
the certainty that they will go forward and do so nobly. We are sure that
our workers will continue to construct with more and more efficiency, with
greater quality, with more and more productivity, with greater enthusiasm.
We are sure that our teachers will increasingly become more efficient and
more enthusiastic. We are sure that the ministry will increasingly work
better, and we are sure that our youngsters will be more and more
exemplary. Fatherland or Death! We will win!
-END-


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