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    School year 2022-2023 defines priorities in Ciego de Ávila

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    Ena Elsa Velázquez Cobiella ministra de Educación visita en ciego de ávila

    To guarantee the timely sale of school uniforms for the grades in which it is established, differentiated attention to the Vocational Pre-University Institute of Exact Sciences (IPVCE), the confrontation with crime, corruption and illegalities within the sector, as well as ensuring that no classroom is left without teachers on November 28, when the 2022-2023 school year begins, are among the priorities that education faces right now at the gates of the new teaching calendar in Ciego de Ávila.

    This was stated by Ena Elsa Velázquez Cobiella, Minister of Education, when confirming this Thursday the assurances in the province for the beginning of the next school period, in which 405 educational institutions will open their doors—of them, 394 schools, with 68,554 students.

    The head of the branch stressed that the coming school year will also be shorter than usual, so "it requires greater preparation and commitment on the part of everyone", more so in the face of the 754 needs for teachers that the territory will not be able to supply, fundamentally, in the educational levels of Basic Secondary (174), Technical and Professional Education (ETP) (122), and Primary (100), and that as reported by Luis Enrique Calderón Piñeiro, provincial director of Education, they must be covered with alternatives such as the contract per hours, the increase in the teaching load and the teacher-student ratio.

    Faced with such a situation, Velázquez Cobiella urged to revive the strategy of comprehensive attention to teachers, in which Ciego de Ávila was once one of the leading territories, and that, although it has not stopped, according to the provincial director, "it must continue being a priority because it is still not possible to reach all the teachers”.

    Precisely the completion of the teaching staff is the stone in the shoe that today prevents the IPVCE Cándido González Morales from having a training center for contests and a group of ninth grade that, in the future, could contribute a lot to the enrollment of a campus— among the lowest in the country—, which, for the teaching calendar to come, will not comply with the planned plan for new entry positions either.

    Hence, its director, Enrique Lazo Martínez, said that alternatives are being sought to guarantee teaching coverage and ensure the permanence of a quality faculty, among them, strengthening ties with the University of Ciego de Ávila Máximo Gómez Báez, depending on the training students for competitions. The next teaching period should improve with the incorporation of three recent graduates of the Biology and English specialties.

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    However, the challenges facing the upcoming school year are, moreover, in rescuing the study-work principle, an issue in which Calderón Piñeira considers that "the problem is not that there are no places to work, the limitation is in finally understanding that this is a principle of Cuban education that deserves to be recovered”.

    The essence was summed up by the minister herself, when she pointed out that "we need to produce and contribute more", which cannot be achieved if the organization and initiative are not part of the school. “The student has to know what he is contributing and why he is doing it. It is about expanding what we are already doing, but also systematizing it”.

    For this reason, he called for better use of the resources that the project "Strengthening the process of professional training of young people and workers in Technical and Professional Education" (Profet) has placed, so far, in the José Antonio Echeverría Polytechnic Institute, of the capital city, which, in addition to promoting higher quality education, may well be used in the provision of services and the production of goods, two fronts for which "all polytechnic institutes have potential."

    Likewise, he called for joining the battle that is being waged today in the country to confront corruption and illegalities, and to which Education cannot be left out, as it is an issue closely related to many of the processes within the sector, where “there is a significant amount of resources that can give rise to this type of event if there is no control over them. We have to look inward, reach each school and each worker can contribute”.

    Regarding the sale of the school uniform for the 2022-2023 school year, it was learned that it was impossible for the province to start it on November 2, as indicated, given that, to date, the industry has not been able to deliver the amount of garments that allow starting it totally or partially, as agreed for the first stage: two tops and one bottom, for preschool and fifth grade, and one top and one bottom for seventh and tenth grade, first year of ETP and pedagogical training.

    This situation compromises the timely delivery of a key resource for the beginning of the teaching calendar and that, in Velázquez Cobiella's opinion, does not admit such a delay, considering that most of the garments are manufactured in the province and that the industry has with a good part of the fabrics necessary to produce the uniforms. For this reason, he called for better communication with the industry and the Mincin, so that families can obtain uniforms as early as possible.

    Another pending issue for the territory continues to be the opening of children's houses —Matanzas and Ciego de Ávila are the only provinces that do not have them— that help alleviate the 1,186 requests for day care centers that, to date, are waiting for a place.

    Besides, although the provincial director announced the good news of the possible opening of the first institution of this type, belonging to Education, on December 22, the Minister of Education stressed that the responsibility cannot fall only on educators, since there are others sectors with a significant number of working mothers that would benefit from supporting this type of educational modality.

    During the meeting, it was announced that, before the end of the current teaching period, passed in atypical conditions, in the week of November 21 to 26, the centers belonging to Primary and Special Education will continue to serve students with cultural, sports, recreational, but also pedagogical. This will also be a propitious moment to reaffirm contents and provide differentiated attention to those students who failed, repeat or have special educational needs.

    Before saying goodbye, the Minister of Education recalled the responsibility and involvement that the sector has with the development of the upcoming municipal elections, given the number of students and teachers who will be able to exercise their right to vote and the educational centers that will function as polling stations. In the same way, he extended the congratulations to all the teachers of the territory before the proximity of the Educator's Day.

    The 2022-2023 school year must end in July of next year, in this way the teaching calendar will resume the normality that COVID-19 forced to transform.