Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Stresses Education

FL041817 Havana Radio Reloj Network in Spanish 1203 GMT 4 Apr 87

[Text] The quality of the speeches on topics concerning youth that also
interest Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, who wants to hear as many
opinions as possible, motivated the revolution's leader to propose the
Fifth UJC Congress be extended through tomorrow.

Congresses such as this are only repeated once every 50 years, said Fidel,
who added that since there are such good speakers, one should not pass up
the opportunity to calmly discuss the things that interest our youth. It is
true that very important topics have been discussed in relation to
education, vocational training, and professional needs throughout the
country. And, he said, there undoubtedly are many things still left to say
about political and ideological work, as well as about culture's role.

What can be affirmed is that the Cuban youth firmly support Fidel because,
as one delegate said, Fidel understands youth. He criticizes them, and he
stimulates and educates them with the truth of his example and with the
truth of this revolution.

The construction of socialism is based on sacrifice and unselfishness, the
commander in chief stressed during statements made at the congress.

Several delegates spoke at the session, including Havana delegate (Yoanna
Tablada), who emotionally described Fidel as an example to youth and also
discussed teacher training problems.

Santiago de Cuba delegate Maria Avila stressed the need for more efficient
work with professors since they are the ones who motivate the students with
the quality of the classes they hold. In reference to this, Fidel
reemphasized university lectures have been reduced because student
selection, is more rigorous and more efficient in intermediate education.

If we want to construct socialism, we must teach hard work, Fidel stressed
during a lively dialogue on vocational training with delegate Matilde
Barrila. The commander in chief said one must discover why youth are not
interested in teaching certain specialties such as labor education,
physical education, chemistry, mathematics, and he stressed the importance
of training in those fields.

Fidel suggested teachers who graduated from training 2 or 3 years ago could
be given incentives to study in those understaffed fields. He also said
youth and children should be motivated to become interested in those areas.

The revolution's leader heard another delegate describe veterinary training
deficiencies. Fidel insisted that higher education has to respond to the
needs of the country.

It is one thing to prepare revolutionaries on a theoretical basis and
another to think they are educated only in theory, said the commander in
chief on the 3rd day of the congress. Fidel was referring to a topic
introduced by delegate Hidalia Romero, who said an error was made in
sending certain cadres from organizations to study politically-oriented

Our highest leader said this was a misconception of many who think
communists are trained with political economic classes. He stressed that
those who participated in the struggle for liberation in the mountains did
not have that Marxist training, yet they never failed the revolution.

Fidel expressed his surprise when he asked about the study programs for the
medical sciences detachment and was informed they had three courses in
Marxism and political economics.

I know (?there) are more efficient and integral teachers finishing their
studies, the highest leader of our revolution said. Delegates from Havana
and Las Tunas expressed their concern over teacher training problems,
especially in labor education and teacher qualifications.

Responding to the delegates, Education Minister Jose Ramon Fernandez
stressed efforts made by teachers who combine [words indistinct] with work
even though, he said, they need to revise their study plans.

Fidel said labor education is something to be made available in every
center. He discussed the need to stimulate vocational training for youths.

We must confront imperialism with science and technology; these are our
current weapons, stressed our commander in chief. Fidel said computers have
been introduced in universities to expose students more to science and
technology. He added that it is one thing to understand political economic
ideas and another to teach them extensively.

Fidel said resources for (?regular) university courses will be reduced
because they are geared to specialties the country does not need. There is
a possibility that higher-education courses will continue if the youth
seeks more background in culture, he said.

Villa Clara delegate (Jaisa Martinez) referred to the negative political
influence of fraud and cited a case that occurred in Caibarien on which
Fidel called for an extensive investigation.

The delegates to the Fifth UJC Congress received greetings of solidarity
from guests representing the USSR, GDR, Nicaragua, Angola, and Poland, as
well as delegates from other nations and youth organizations, during the
previous sessions.

Soviet youth delegate Petras Ignotas stressed the unity between the USSR
and Cuba in its advancement toward socialism. The Sandinist representative
announced his organization's decision to honor the delegates with the
Patricia Powell Ryan Award, named for a youth who fell in combat.

The congress will end tomorrow and will continue its analysis of education
today. Afterwards, it will debate culture's role and political-ideological

During the first session, 1,500 delegates approved the candidates for
members and alternate members of the UJC National Committee.