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The Education Revolution: Cuba's Alternative to Neo-liberalism Paperback – November 7, 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 265 pages
  • Publisher: Manifesto Press (November 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907464026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907464027
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,638,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This splendid book by the late great Theo MacDonald is a fine study of Cuba's education system and its relationship to Cuban society, economy and politics. Chapters cover Cuba's revolutionary perspectives; the impact of the revolution; the 1960s: education for social power; the 1970s and 1980s: `perfeccionamiento'; Cuba's education system today; and the 1990s and onwards: the Cuban alternative to neoliberalism. Emulation, not competition, is the ethic.

Between 1959 and 1962, more than a million people learnt to read, cutting Cuba's illiteracy rate from 24 per cent to 4. It is now 2 per cent (the USA's is 12 per cent.) UNESCO conducted 40 campaigns between 1945 and 1960; most failed. For example, Egypt cut its illiteracy rate from 79 per cent in 1954 to 22 in 1961, but by 1971 it had risen again to 78 per cent.

As MacDonald notes, "Primary schooling and even pre-primary schooling had become almost universally available in Cuba by 1969." "By 1976, over 75 per cent of children in the 13-16 age group were in school. ... every child in secondary school was given the chance to prepare for university entrance."

In higher education, Cuba put increasing emphasis on providing courses in technology, medical sciences, pure sciences, agricultural sciences, economics and teaching, specifically linked to the economy's needs and to planning to meet those needs. Each province plans to meet that province's needs.

As he points out, "Cuba is the only country in the entire history of civilisation to establish a high quality, WHO-validated, 6-year medical training programme - entirely free and with full food and board - for any adequately schooled person from anywhere in the world, but who cannot afford medical school in their own country.
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