Since the beginning of the Cuban Revolution, policies prioritizing education have set an example for the world.
Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro often spoke about how education was the path to true freedom. And it wasn’t only talk: from the beginning of the Cuban Revolution, the practice of advancing the level of the Cuban people’s education was priority number one. teleSUR takes a look at six ways Cuba leads the world in education.
1. Cuba Became ‘Illiteracy Free’ in Less Than 2 Years
When Fidel Castro’s July 26 Movement overthrew the U.S.-backed dictator President Fulgencio Batista on Jan. 1, 1959, the new revolutionary government inherited a country with a literacy rate as low as 60 percent. By the end of 1961, a year the Cuban government dubbed “The Year of Education,” the nation’s literacy rate had risen to 96 percent, one of the highest in the world. This was the result of thousands of “literacy brigades” traveling across the country to rural areas, laying the foundations of what would become the most democratic education system in the Americas.
2. Education Was Made Free and Public
The Batista regime had promoted a model of education-for-profit, encouraging the privatization of schools, colleges and universities. In 1961, the revolutionary Cuban government nationalized all educational institutions, ensuring every child had a human right to free, quality education.