Those of us who have been subjected to Castro’s “free” education can attest to the dysfunction of an educational system whose primary purpose is to brainwash and mass produce Che’s new men. Thankfully, all they manage to mass produce is cynics with highly developed BS detectors.
One of the things that always makes me grimace when I hear the Cuba’s “free” education mantra as a justification for the Cuban people’s slavery is knowing that schoolchildren in Cuba are viewed as assets to be exploited in order to achieve revolutionary goals. Whether it be demonstrations, “volunteer” work, field (farm) work or mobilizations, Castro uses “his” children to help achieve his maniacal purposes.
And like everything else in Cuba, the educational system is subject to Castro’s whims and schemes.
One such scheme, which I guess came about because of a shortage of teachers, is the PGI or “Integral General Professors” in which teenagers receive an eight month training and are sent out to teach in primary and secondary classrooms throughout the island often teaching students only slightly younger than themselves.
According to this el Nuevo Herald article, this recipe for disaster served up a dish of tragedy when a 17 year old teacher lost his cool and hit a 12 year old student with a chair, (described by the author as a “silletazo”), killing him.
There are an estimated 50,000 “emerging” teenage teachers spread throughout the island according to the article. They live in shelters, away from their families, and are paid with food and meager wages-surprise!-another Castroite scheme to exploit Cuba’s youth.
So next time you hear the mantra of Fidel’s “free education” think of 12 year old Daniel Castañeda Alayo and his 17 year teacher, Rolando, just two victims of Castro’s “free” education system.