Cuba and Venezuela to contribute to eliminating illiteracy in Latin America

Campaign News | Thursday, 3 February 2005

Countries will use unique Cuban teaching method

Havana Feb. 02- Venezuela and Cuba are to work together and in coordination with other Latin American countries to eliminate illiteracy on the continent utilizing Cuban methods of proven rapid effectiveness already functioning in the former country, according to Luis Ignacio Gómez, minister of education.

He gave this information during the inauguration in the Karl Marx Theater of the 9th Pedagogy 2005 Congress and the first edition of the World Literacy Congress.

Speaking before more than 5,000 delegates from 46 nations attending the event, in his special address "Cuba: a revolution in education," the minister added that as an example of that cooperation, the island is offering 2,000 scholarships per year to young Venezuelans to undertake advanced studies in any subject of interest to their country, including scientific research, as well as contributing to the training of more than 20,000 doctors to attend to the population’s health needs.

During his address the minister referred to the problems being confronted by a world where more than 860 million adults are submerged in ignorance, and 120 million children do not attend elementary school. UNICEF has warned that it will take to 2100 to achieve education for all boys and girls.

In contrast to that, Cuba eradicated illiteracy 43 years ago, and now the education network extends to everyone, sparing no effort or resources. "The education budget is number one of the list of the Cuban state for 2005," he affirmed.

He highlighted the profound changes at elementary and junior high school levels, and those taking place in senior high, as well as the new teacher training methods, the universalization of higher education and the diverse programs underway in the heat of the Battle of Ideas.

He also reiterated Cuba’s total disposition to share its experiences, citing as an example that more than 15,000 educators have lent their services to other countries and more than 42,000 young people from the Third World have received grants to study on the island, while tens of thousands more are training at the Latin American School of Medicine, the International Sports and Physical Education College, and in technical and higher education institutes.

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