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FL152027 Havana Domestic Television Service in Spanish 1700 GMT 15 Jul 83

[Text] The fourth meeting of the second legislature of the National
Assembly of People's Government [ANPP] concluded yesterday at Havana's
Palace of Conventions. During yesterday's afternoon session, ANPP Vice
President Comrade Jorge Lezcano proposed that the Communications Ministry
and Havana City Province submit their respective financial reports at the
next meeting. This proposal was approved by all of the deputies. A report
submitted by the attorney general was discussed yesterday afternoon; also
discussed at this session was the case of secondary students who attend
school half-day.

[Begin Fidel Castro recording] Fernandez, what is the status of keeping
secondary students] in school all day?

[Education Minister Jose Fernandez] Secondary students are kept in school
all day only at boarding schools. All secondary schools are utilized to the
limit and even beyond that, yet some kids go to school in the morning while
others go in the afternoon.

[Castro] I have a question. What problems are we facing to keep secondary
students in school all day in urban areas throughout the country without
having to set up dining rooms and semi-internships? What are our
limitations for this?

[Fernandez] We would have to build hundreds of major schools. We have 1.1
million students at the medium secondary level, with more than 200,000 of
them in boarding schools. Of the 1.1 million students, and to give round
figures, approximately 500,000... I believe there are approximately 480,000
[in boarding schools]. Therefore, we will have to build schools for....

[Castro, interrupting] For 700,000....

[Fernandez] Approximately.

[Castro] Schools located in urban areas....

[Fernandez, interrupting] Commander, it is important....

[Castro] ...without dining rooms, without semi-internships.

[Fernandez] This is important, as well as the work of teachers.

[Castro] Right. Now, let me ask you another question. Do you have teachers
for this?

[Fernandez] We may have to increase the number of teachers. We shouldn't
say that we have an adequate number now because many of our teachers give
classes to some kids in the morning and to others in the afternoon.

[Flavio Bravo] Would any of you, comrades, like to speak? Vilma...

[Vilma Espin] Look, if we are able to implement this program, it would
undoubtedly be the best way of preventing misconduct by minors because the
main problem we have always encountered in committees charged with
preventing problems concerning minors -- not only by this committee but by
all groups working with minors -- is the amount of time these kids spend
outside school. I am particularly referring to those kids whose ages range
between 12 and 15. This is usually the main source of the problems. It
would indeed be great if we could achieve this goal. We are now actually
attempting to reduce this problem by promoting cultural and sport
activities which, if channeled through schools -- if the school system were
charged with organizing cultural activities, sport activities for kids of
this age group -- this would be almost the best thing that we could do for
children of this age group.

[Castro] I believe some day we should start keeping children in school all
day both at the elementary and secondary levels, at all levels. But the
problem is that, if to keep kids in school all day, we have to set up
dining rooms. We will have to incur expenditures concerning additional
numbers of workers, investments, and semi-internships. I believe elementary
children should have lunch in school, but secondary students are a little
older and could go home, have lunch, and return to school. We could not
consider giving a great push to this project in the near future if it
requires government allocations and the whole range of related social

Yet with regard to personnel -- that is, teachers -- school supplies, and
the building of these schools -- which should not be conceived as
semi-internship schools -- I believe we can make an effort in this
direction and thus expedite the process. We should also consider the impact
this will have on the training of children who will then enter
pre-university schools or technological schools to become skilled workers
or medium-level experts.

I am sure that if we conduct a study of the percentage of the free time
that children devote to studying, we will find that this percentage is
quite low. In cities, boys spend most of their time walking through the
streets, goofing around, as we commonly say. I believe this is a problem we
must consider. We must study our possibilities and especially focus on this
age group without discontinuing what we have been doing at the elementary
level. We have given emphasis to the elementary level but we have not made
an effort to resolve this problem at the secondary level, with the
exception of course of rural schools. But when we talk about secondary
students, we are also talking about pre-university students. Fernandez,
let's see if we can give a little better education to these boys. [end

The closing remarks of the meeting were made by ANPP president Flavio Bravo
Pardo. [Begin Bravo recording] At this assembly, we are filled with
enthusiasm and faith in our strength. The strength of our people is greater
than ever under the leadership of our party and Fidel. We are moving ahead,
steadily and calmly, in our tasks concerning both the economy and defense,
the formation of territorial militia forces, the incorporation of women in
these forces, and the improvement of civil defense and our plans for times
of war.

In view of all this, our country has become an impregnable bullwark. All
this shows us, comrades, and the enemy also that as long as a Cuban is
alive -- either a man, a woman, a child, or a senior citizen -- our enemies
will never be able to overpower the Cuban people's decision to fight for
their independence, for the socialism and for peace. [applause]

A great effort to improve production and defense is the best tribute we can
pay to the glorious heroes who 30 years ago attacked the Moncada Barracks
under the leadership of our invincible commander in chief. [applause] [end