Vietnamese, Cuban parties boost information-education cooperation

A delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education, led by its deputy head Le Manh Hung, paid a working visit to Cuba from December 3-8.

The visit was made as part of the CPV’s agreement on exchange and cooperation with the Communist Party of Cuba (CPC).

During the trip, the CPV delegation had several meetings with leaders of the CPC Central Committee’s departments for external affairs, information and education, economic affairs, and theoretical affairs.

At the meetings, the two sides exchanged views on Party-building contents in terms of theory, politics and ideology as well as information on achievements attained by Vietnam in its three decades of reform and by Cuba since its socio-economic model update initiated at the CPC’s 6th congress.

The discussions focused on experiences in carrying out missions in the fronts of politics, ideology, culture, and education. They stressed progresses they have achieved and pointed to challenges amid the fast development of information technology, the Internet and social networks.

The two sides expressed their wishes to boost delegation exchanges between the two parties’ agencies to update information and boost theoretical development.

As part of the visit, the CPV delegation paid working visits to University of Havana, Cuban Institute of Friendship with Peoples (ICAP), and Cuban journalists' association (UPEC).

The Vietnamese delegates also called at Vo Thi Thang primary school in Havana and University of Matanzas "Camilo Cienfuegos and laid flowers in tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his statue and Cuban national hero Jose Marti.

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Cuban President Praises Students' Commitment to Revolution

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Thursday highlighted the commitment by students and professors at the Pedagogical School in central Ciego de Avila province.

The head of State posted on Twitter his emotion during the meeting with students and teachers at the abovementioned campus.

'Beautiful life stories that express passion for Cuba and commitment to the Cuban Revolution,' the Cuban leader wrote.

During a governmental visit to that territory, Diaz-Canel assessed the progress of development programs and learned in Jardines del Rey about the characteristics of the hotel development program approved by the Council of Ministers until 2030 for the northern Cuban keys, which includes Villa Clara, Camagüey and Ciego de Avila.

Diaz-Canel was also interested in the preparations for the peak tourist season in Jardines del Rey.

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Russia, Cuba Address Cooperation in Health, Education and Culture

Russia and Cuba exchanged ideas on Thursday about the open prospects for cooperation between the two countries in health, education and culture, among other areas, in the framework of the 2nd Eurasian Women's Forum.

St. Petersburg's governor, Gueorgui Poltavchenko, stressed that his city, with six percent of the national production of drugs, strengthens collaboration with the Caribbean island in that regard, during a meeting with Cuban Vice President, Beatriz Johnson Urrutia.

During the talks at the Smolni Palace, Parliament headquarters of this city, Poltavchenko said that Russia is looking for the possibility of any kind of exchange with the Caribbean nation in terms of health, from supplies to the creation of joint ventures in Cuba.

He also referred to the opportunities of a fruitful scientific exchange in health, as well as students and specialists from both states.

The governor of St. Petersburg noted that some 15 Cuban students are studying in different universities in this city and considered that number can increase.

The Cuban vice president thanked the Russian participation in the celebration in 2019 of the 500th anniversary of Havana and recalled that Santiago de Cuba, which previously celebrated it, is also, as St. Petersburg, a hero city.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is expected to attend the forum on Thursday.

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'Education is a Right!': Argentine Students, Teachers Mobilize En Masse Against Education Funding Cuts

Hundreds of thousands marched in Buenos Aires in defense of public education and to demand better salaries and increased budgets.

Hundreds of thousands of Argentines marched in downtown Buenos Aires  Thursday in defense of the public education system and to reject cuts announced by President Mauricio Macri’s administration amid the country's ongoing International Monetary Fund-backed austerity measures.

RELATED: Argentina: Professors, Teachers Protest Against Budget Cuts

The march took place during the fourth week of a strike by workers at national universities. In the days leading up to the march professors and students held classes in public spaces and organized occupations of universities across the country to shed light on the current crisis in the Argentine higher education system.  

“We didn’t come only for the salaries, but also for the funding of public and free university education,” Monica Pipino, a professor at the National University of Rosario, explained in an attempt to counter the narrative advanced by government officials, who claim the conflict is based exclusively on wages.

Last month, Macri’s government announced a US$99 million (over $3 billion Argentine Pesos) in cuts to the public education sector and a halt in infrastructure projects. This announcement aggravated the demand for salary increases that respond to the increasing rate of inflation.

@fedelopezclaro Marcha por la educación Universitaria
Foto @fedelopezclaro


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15th Anniversary of Educational Mission Celebrated in Venezuela

Caracas, Jul 1 (Prensa Latina) Venezuelans celebrate today the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Robinson Mission, which allowed to teach millions of people.

The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, tweeted that '15 years ago one of the most beautiful missions of the Revolution came from the hand of a giant, he brought the light to overcome the darkness into which the people was plunged during the fourth republic. Venezuela eradicated illiteracy thanks to Mission Robinson and Chavez.'

This Sunday, Robinson Mission arrived at 15 years guaranteeing the Venezuelan people the opportunity to enjoy a dignified, free and quality education, he said.

Robinson Mission was a Hugo Chavez's pioneering program, which arose in 2003 to eradicate illiteracy, benefiting almost 2 million people in its first phase, reported Venezolana de Television.

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Philippine Authorities Highlight Cuba's Educational System

Philippine Education Minister Leonor Briones was paid a courtesy visit by Cuban Ambassador Ibete Fernandez, with whom she assessed the possibility of starting relations of collaboration in the educational field.

The Cuban diplomat told Prensa Latina that the minister repeated the intention to implement the best and more applicable practices of Cuba's educational system and, above all, to learn from the process to build values among students.

Briones recalled that last year, the general director of Education of the Philippines visited Cuba, and she thanked the ambassador for the welcome he was given.

The official expressed her admiration for the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, and underlined that although his physical departure was a great loss for humankind, his legacy remains.

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Opening of a New Academic Year: A True Event

Raising the quality of education is an essential goal, for both general education as well as in the university. Several material and financial resources are devoted to achieve this goal.  

New opportunities and dreams start up today in all domestic classrooms with the opening of a new academic year (2017-2018), which not only involves children, youths, and adolescents, but also parents, teachers, and professors.  

In Cuba the beginning of every academic year is a true popular event. In the days prior the family takes care of preparing uniforms and other school materials, and at schools workers – both those who teach as well as support personnel - prepare the conditions so that institutions are clean and welcoming.  

Raising the quality of education is still an essential purpose in both the general as the university teaching, several material and financial resources are devoted to achieve this goal. Just to mention an example, the Ministry of Education (MINED) it has prepared for this year a budget of 14 million CUC (Cuban convertible) for the acquisition of material resources.  

Pass beyond difficulties - worsened by the blockade imposed for more than half a century by the United States - the Cuban State guarantees the basic materials to successfully complete the teaching-learning process.  

In MINED, New Things Appear  

Although the classes always begin in September, MINED long before begins to organize the coming academic year. Therefore, since the months of April and May it carries out a national training seminar that later is reproduced in the provinces and municipalities.  

Now, the newest thing would be the introduction of 152 domestic schools (at different levels) the first results of the third process of improvement, a research the organization has been working on in the last years.  

In this process are included the 1st, 2nd and 4th years of life of the First Childhood – earlier known as Preschool - and grades 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th, of Primary, Secondary and High school.


To cope with this experience, teachers and their bosses were trained, since new plans, programs, methodological orientations, textbooks and workbooks will be used.  

In this regard, Irene Rivera Ferreiro, Vice-Minister working for the First Childhood branch, recently explained that there are steps in the improvement process associated to Educa a tu Hijo Program (Teach your Child)*, and to that end new materials have been elaborated aimed at facilitating the training of families.  

She commented that in the Special Education particular emphasis is put on children with special educational needs associated to intellectual difficulties.  

"So far we have spoken of mental retardation and today we are moving toward another term, less derogatory. Hence we consider it a disability that affects intellectual development. The largest registration is found in this type of teaching therefore there are many children inserted in the Primary Education, where it’s necessary the training of teachers to assist scholars with those characteristics", she emphasized.  

In Secondary Education, said Margarita McPherson Sayú, there are several modifications. Although the subjects remain the same, the Natural Sciences is divided once more into Geography and Biology and they will be taught independently. She also indicated that Computer Sciences that was only taught in 7th grade now extends to 8th and 9th grades.

As regards pre-university, there would be a more direct look at Higher

Education, mainly from the organizational point of view.

According Mc Pherson, they are thinking to begin some activities,

especially in 11th grade, such as lectures, practical classes and


For her part, the head of the sector Ena Elsa Velázquez Cobiella

highlighted that intensive works been carried out in all provinces and

territories as much in the repair and reconditioning of schools as in the

delivery of the basic school and life aids, and added that the school year

will begin in better conditions than in the previous stage.

Integration of all universities, an achievement

After several years assuming and applying an integration process, Higher

Education reaches this new academic year with that task concluded.

That has favored a more rational use of material resources and staffs. In

other words, pedagogical and sports universities have been affiliated to

the universities of the Ministry of Higher Education (MES) in each


According to José Saborido Loidi, head of this institution, one of the

peculiarities of the school year that begins today is that a larger number

of careers join study plan E, which means changes in plans and programs,

and time reduction (four years) in certain specialties.

Now, the favorable results in the last entrance tests will allow that some

26000 students join the regular diurnal course; while 31000 others will

enroll encounter courses and 4000 the distance education modality.

Likewise general education, the university one –also despite shortages and

difficulties– has created all conditions to open its classrooms with the

support of an army of some 45000 teachers, who will have the high

responsibility to train their students academically and to foster

patriotic and citizen values in them.

Educational system in figures:

-Enrollment in general education: More than 1,750,000 students (the same

as in the previous academic year)

-Educational institutions: 10, 698,000

-Teaching coverage: It’s been guaranteed by 93 percent without the use of

alternatives (hired teachers, reinstated retirees, university students,

among others)

-Pedagogical schools (middle level): 26, including two newly inaugurated,

one in Havana and another in Guantanamo (Baracoa)

-Admission in pedagogical training with higher-middle level: It surpasses

9000 students, for a total number in the different study years of more

than 25000.

-Some 121,700, 000 9th grade graduates have been granted vacancies, which

represents 99,13 percent of the students who have decided to continue

their studies.

- Enrollment in Higher Education: 246,000 students and some 60,600,000 are


*A non-institutional Cuban program that offers educational alternatives

for the children who do not have access to daycare centers, from before

their birth until their admission in 1st grade.

Cubasi Translation Staff

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Chile: Students Protest to Demand Universal Education

Education in Chile is prohibitively expensive for many students, and leaves many more with crippling debts that generate huge rates of interest.

The Confederation of Chilean Students, also known as Confech, is holding a march on Wednesday to reject and oppose the proposed reforms to higher education offered by the government, continuing the movement for universal higher education in Chile.

RELATED: Colombia's 37-Day Teachers Strike Ends in Victory for Educators

The students are marching under the slogan: “advancing toward free public education, without debt.”

“We hope that all students, workers, officials, and those who believe that there must be deep changes in the education system can participate,” the President of the Federation of Students of the Catholic University, Sofia Barahona said.

The leaders of the Confech of Santiago have called the protests because they believe it is necessary to pressure the government from the streets in order to implement improvements to higher education.

Education in Chile is prohibitively expensive for many students, and leaves many more with crippling debt that generate large profits off of interest.

The fight for universal education access has become a swelling social movement in Chile, as many condemn President Michelle Bachelet's rolling back of many promised reforms.

In many protests in the past, state police have responded forcefully to demonsrators, using tear gas and water cannons to subdue the students.

“We call all Chileans to protest and express themselves, because this is the opportunity we have to rectify and dispute education in Chile,” Daniel Andrade, President of the Federation of Students of University of Chile said.

The protesters will march at 11 a.m. on Wednesday in Santiago and Valparaiso, as well as towns and cities.

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