The Cuban Education treating people with handicaps

Monday, August 28, 2006

Cuba is One Big University
By Gabriel Davalos
The right of everyone to higher education is a remarkable achievement of Cuba’s university system, said Juan Vela Valdes, the minister of Higher Education.
Vela told those gathered for the thirtieth anniversary of the ministry that, besides its network of 65 centers, university classes are taught at 3,150 locals in the country’s 169 municipalities. He said that President Fidel Castro’s dream to turn Cuba into one big university is now a reality.
The minister, who took the post last month after serving as the rector of the University of Havana, noted that Cuba’s 800,000 university graduates, of a current population of 11.2 million, is a major accomplishment towards the country’s present and future.
“Since the Ministry of Higher Education was founded 30 years ago there have been changes. Registration is totally free, a scholarship plan was introduced, cafeterias opened, and university education was extended to each municipality,” said Vela.
At the ceremony, Fernando Vecino Alegret, who headed the Ministry of Higher Education during its first 30 years, was presented with a Diploma of Recognition and a card as Member of Honorary of the Federation of University Student.
After a prolonged applause, Vecino Alegret thanked all the “anonymous heroes” who have made possible the many accomplishments of higher education in Cuba.
Past and present university rectors and ministry employees also received recognition.
Mercedes Lopez Acea, member of the Communist Party Central Committee Secretariat, Jose Miyar Barruecos, secretary of the Council of State, Luis Ignacio Gomez, minister of Education, and leaders of youth, student and labor organizations participated at the event.