HAVANA (Prensa Latina).- More than 1,750,000 students are beginning today the 2017-2018 school year in Cuba, a period whose beginning has been preparing in the country for several weeks.

About 10,000 schools of the Ministry of Education (MINED) are opening their doors today to develop education, a priority for the Cuban government since the triumph of the Revolution in 1959.

As of that historical moment, education in the country is completely free, from the initial and preschool to university postgraduate. At present, the allocation of resources to this sector by the State is equivalent to about 14 percent of the national Gross Domestic Product.

During the weeks prior to the beginning of the course, Education Minister, Ena Elsa Velazquez, stated that the conditions for the beginning of classes have been created throughout the nation, as a result of an extensive program of repairs of schools, training of teachers and assurance of school materials, furniture and other resources.

Thanks to the contribution of each territory to the local development, about 2,023 schools were repaired, 228 more than those originally scheduled, reducing to 20 percent those classified as regular and poor.

Velazquez said that the teachers are guaranteed by 93 percent (without including the use of alternatives). The most affected provinces are Havana, Artemisa, Mayabeque and Matanzas (all belonging to the western region), especially in Mathematics, Natural Sciences, History and English.

With the implementation of measures such as teachers working on temporary contracts, contracting retired teachers, student assistants at universities, trainee teachers and a significant number of overburdened teachers are expected to achieve a completion of 99.5 percent.


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