Cuba restarts school year on September 1st, except for Havana

Cuba restarts school year on September 1st, except for Havana

HAVANA, Aug. 15th The Minister of Education, Ena Elsa Velázquez, said this Friday on the Mesa Redonda television program that the school year will resume in all the country’s provinces on September 1st, with the exception of Havana, given its current epidemiological situation.

She reported that managers and workers are returning to educational institutions in a first phase to prepare them for the restart of the 2019-2020 school year, after the period of forced confinement.

In the second phase, teaching activities will be resumed and evaluations will be carried out to end this school year, which will run until October 31. Two days later the 2020-2021 academic year will begin.

In the case of Higher Education, students and teachers will also return to class in 22 universities on September 1st (in the second phase) and from then on, adjustments will be made for the closure of subjects, changes of careers and finals, extraordinary and end-of-year exams.

The minister insisted on the need to comply with and maximize measures to avoid infections. Among them, she pointed out the staggering recess hours, not doing the usual morning conglomerated meetings at the school, not accepting workers and students with respiratory symptoms, not allowing school access to other personnel, the mandatory use of masks, the use of hypochlorite and chlorinated solution for regular disinfection.

Cuban Minister of Education, Ena Elsa Velázquez. Photo: Roberto Garaicoa

Referring to the concern of some parents about how to avoid possible infections at the schools, she said that it was not “only about what the school is obliged to guarantee, but also about compliance with the measures indicated in all the scenarios where people’s lives take place”.

Children from Early Childhood, as well as Elementary and Special Education students, will remain at the institutions from Monday to Friday, while those of the rest of the educational levels will attend their centers as follows: those from 7th. grade, Monday through Thursday in the morning session; those from 8th. grade, Monday through Thursday in the afternoon session, and those of 9th. the full day on Friday.

For High Schools, 10th. grade on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the afternoon session; 11th. Tuesday and Thursday in the afternoon session and Saturdays in the morning session, and 12th. Monday through Friday in the morning session. The last high school year students will spend a month preparing for the university admission exams with their teachers.

Finally, the minister highlighted that each territory has the possibility of contextualizing these measures according to their specific characteristics.