Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Fidel Addresses Conference

Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 1232 GMT 11 May 74 F

[Text] With speeches by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, Vice Prime
Minister Belarmino Castilla and Education Minister Jose R. Fernandez, the
conference of rural basic secondary schools and preuniversity institutes
was concluded last night at the Cristino Naranjo social club in Miramar,
rural school directors, leaders of the Union of Young Communists [UJC],
Federation of Intermediate-level Students [FEEM], National Union of
Education and Science Workers, and high educational officials attended the

Addressing the delegates, the first secretary of the party and prime
minister of the Revolutionary Government said that new things for the rural
basic secondary schools must come from their teachers and directive cadres,
Fidel said that from the outset the government was confident that the
schools would be successful.

Fidel noted that the results of the new teaching system had exceeded
educational and production expectations. He said that from the beginning
thought was given to establishing a mechanism that would compile the
tremendous flow of experiences the development of the rural schools would
offer when more than 100 of them were functioning.

Fidel said that in addition to the high passing indexes, much experience is
being obtained regarding the new teaching system that is being applied
successfully in elementary education. He mentioned as examples the high
grade indexes at the schools in Santiago de Cuba and Campaguey, where the
children have harvested a great number of farm products while combining
their work with study, sports and culture.

Referring to the important role the Manuel Ascunce Domonech teaching
detachment is playing in the functioning of the rural schools, Fidel
emphasized that the members of the detachment are a key axle of the cogs of
teaching experiences and a source of the future teaching and directive
cadres. With regard to the successful results of combining work with study,
Fidel asserted that eventually all students will go through the new type of
schools. He also extolled the work of the rural school directors who are
carrying out the difficult task of managing the schools.

In conclusion, the first party secretary congratulated all who had taken
part in the conference.

Belarmino Castilla Mas, vice prime minister of education, science and
culture, described the rural schools and preuniversity institutes
conference for exchanging experiences as very positive. Pointing to the
importance of the study centers and the attention the government and
education ministry are giving them, Castilla said they are the vanguard of
the education system and are incorporating new ideas into revolutionary

The vice prime minister said that (?107) new rural schools would be built
for the next course. He advocated the intensification of teaching students
and workers and expansion of their political and ideological learning, and
the consolidation of the principles of Marxism-Leninism by means of
combining social theory with practice.

In his speech closing the conference, Education Minister Fernandez said it
is not the time to think of reaping the fruits of the tree that was born of
the first socialist revolution in America, but of wholeheartedly
cultivating it.

He explained that at present 135 rural schools, 6 preuniversity institutes,
8 vocational schools and 3 teacher-training schools are functioning in the
country. He added that 68,000 students are attending classes in the rural
schools and other study centers.

Other points that the minister dwelt on were the Manuel Ascunce Domenech
teaching detachment and the regulation of the activities of its members,
provision of teaching means and equipment, and the students' participation
in farming.