Cuba begins de-escalation in education, sports and culture sectors

Cuba begins de-escalation in education, sports and culture sectors

HAVANA, June  20th Cuba announced this Friday that the 2019-2020 school year will resume on September 1 at all levels, while the culture and sports sectors enter the first phase of recovery by declaring that the COVID-19 epidemic in most of the Caribbean country.
The heads of Education, Higher Education, Culture and the National Sports Institute (Inder) explained today details of the plan to reopen activities in their sectors in a gradual process towards post-COVID normality on a television program.

The Cuban government announced last week the launch of a three-phase recovery process that began to apply yesterday Thursday in 13 of the 15 provinces of the country and in the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud, except for Havana and Matanzas, where there are still active cases of the disease.

The Minister of Education, Ena Elsa Velázquez, reported that directors and workers join educational institutions in this first phase to prepare for the restart of the 2019-2020 school year scheduled for September 1, after the period of forced confinement, an of the measures imposed to deal with the presence of the coronavirus.

In the second phase, the teaching activities will be resumed and the evaluations will be carried out to complete this school year that will last until October 31, and two days later the 2020-21 academic year will begin.
In the case of Higher Education, students and teachers will also return to the classrooms at 22 universities on September 1 (in the second phase) and from then on adjustments will be made for the closure of subjects, career changes and final, extraordinary and end-of-course exams.

The head of Higher Education, José Ramón Saborido, said that in the 2019-2020 academic year the graduation of 21,066 professionals is expected and he announced that the new course (2020-2021) will open on November 23.

The 60th National Baseball Series, the most popular sport in Cuba, will be inaugurated on September 12 with a game between the Matanzas team – current champion – and the Camagüey squad if epidemiological conditions allow it.
When making the announcement of the new edition of the largest sports show that takes place annually on the island, the president of the National Institute of Sports, Osvaldo Vento, said that the training of the players will begin on August 1 behind closed doors.

In this sense, he said that only up to 45 athletes will be able to concentrate on the preparation, the preparation caps with other teams will be limited to avoid movement between provinces and they will not be allowed on beaches and other public places.
He specified that in the structure of the upcoming championship the teams will play 75 games in an all-against-all system, with round-trip sub-series, and 30 more matches will be played by teams.

The manager detailed that there will be eight teams that will qualify for the postseason, and four reinforcements will be selected for the semifinal and final stages -both of seven games to win four- in response to a request made during a process that gathered opinions on the development of the baseball in the country.

Vento indicated that there will be public access to the stadiums where the matches will be held, albeit with limitations and always maintaining hygienic epidemiological standards for the control of COVID.

In the first phase of de-escalation, the cultural area will maintain the remote working modality and the limited presence of people in the institutions.
The Minister of Culture, Alpidio Alonso, said that they will begin reopening bookstores, libraries, museums and galleries with tight schedules and observing the sanitary measures with limitations in the presence of the number of people and keeping the physical distance.

The reopening will include cultural goods stores. and the small format artistic units will be able to start their presentations in closed centres of gastronomy, tourism and the private sector.
But, as the minister warned, carnival and popular parties that generate large crowds of people will remain suspended and virtual concerts will continue to take place.
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