CAMAGÜEY.- At first he looked like a shy man, of those who finds it hard work to speak about himself. He did not stop moving in the chair and he was turning the pencil that he had in the hand, repeatedly. To be standing up in front of tens of students already does not make him nervous, but the interviews does.

Manuel Núñez Cortina is a teacher in the Polytechnic Railroad School Cándido González, of the city of Camagüey. There he works since 40 years ago, and although he never thought to devote himself to the pedagogics, there was a moment that did not conceive his life without it.

“I graduated in the ancient Soviet Union of average level technician in Construction and Development of Railroad Service. On having come to the province, I could only exercise the career for one year, since there was teachers' deficit and they needed my support. For the year 1979 I was already a teacher”.

But since Manuel belongs to those that thinks that the things are done right or are not done, he was not content with the pedagogic knowledge that he had and he concentrated in turning into the best professional he could be. He took classes, received courses and with a lot of effort he graduated of Master's degree in Pedagogic Sciences.

“When I realized that I could devote myself entirely to this profession, I knew also that I had to excel myself. I have always thought that to stand up in front of a classroom needs big responsibility. You have to be prepared to answer any question, to clarify doubts, to correct bad habits or to form values. And that is not achieved without studies. It is necessary to respect the pupils and always to give the best thing of oneself”.

In the school, they love him and respect him because it always extends his hand to help, to give a wise advice. “With the example it is transmitted and is taught very much. We do not do anything with repeating all the time to the boys how they must behave in one or another form when you do not behave like that. I have learned that throughout the years and apply it every day. Till now it has given me results”.

Already with a little less of nerves, the teacher spoke to us also on the advantages and challenges of the third improving of the education that is carried out in the school. “Although today the Technical Professional Education does not implement new plans and study programs, the advances in the direction styles can be felt.

“Now the students take more part in the making of the institutional projects, what propitiates that they feel more identified with the school. This, to all lights, is an advance step for the education”.

That´s why it returns of vital importance to be provided with a teaching personnel capable of impelling the changes. In this task, Manuel is a weight man. At present, he works as chief of the teachers' education department in the Polytechnic school and has to his charge four groups that prepare themselves there.

“The idea arose in the academic year 2016-2017 to cover the teachers' deficit that has the territory. We initiate with only one group like an experiment, this year three more were included and for the next school period it is thought to open the specialties of Accounting, Electricity, Mechanics and Transport. We would be provided then with eight groups: one in third, three in second and four in the first year.

“Until now the experience has had good results, since all the students who chose the pedagogics have been supported in the classrooms without causing fall. The motivation goes for our part and the interest in them”.

Two years separate Manuel of his "formal" retirement; nevertheless, he confessed to us that while the health should allow him, he would be in the classrooms. Perhaps when he was a child, he never dreamed like José de la Luz y Caballero of being a living gospel, of neither walking with the white hands on the chalk dust, of crying in the graduations of his boys, but in the top of his life, he has the highest position in these four decades of devotion and love.

Translated by Linet Acuña Quilez