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Female teachers in Cuba… achievements and deep commitment

Women represent 81.9% of the professors, teachers and scientists in this country. They are known for their high qualifications and hard work in the classroom and in positions of great responsibility.

 

Marta Denis Valle

 

With beautiful traditions and notable achievements in past decades, worthy of honourable distinctions, female Cuban teachers are known for a deep commitment to their work.

These women make up 60.5% of graduates in higher education and 67.2% of the technicians and professionals, and they permanently strive to constantly elevate their comprehensive education.

The most recent promotion, last August, brought the woman with a doctorate in Sciences, Osana Molerio Pérez, to the position of rector at the Marta Abreu Central University, in the central Cuban province of Villaclara.

Molerio Pérez was deacon of the Faculty of Psychology of that university and is the author of a methodology for the diagnosis and psychological care of patients with essential arterial hypertension and other research.

On the other hand, according to the latest legislative elections, which took place on the 11  March 2018, of 605 members chosen, 322 are women (53.22% of the members of the Cuban Parliament).

There are also prominent female educators, such as Alicia Roberta Alonso Becerra (PhD in Technical Sciences), rector of the Technological University of Havana; Arelys Falcón Hernández (a second-degree specialist in Intensive and Emergency Medicine), rector of the University of Medical Sciences in the province of Cienfuegos; and Sara Iris Rodríguez Ramírez, professor of Spanish Literature in a polytechnic and methodologist of these subjects in the Las Tunas Municipal Office of Education. And so are many other women. What is certain is that the humble, little Cuban school, orphan of abundant official financial resources, has never lacked in talented and dedicated female teachers, always remembered by their students in the 60 years of republican life under the neo-colonial guardianship of Washington.

This is the case of Dulce María Borrero (1883-1945) and María Luisa Dolz (1854-1928); the first a poetess, bibliographer and notable pedagogue, and the second, elementary and further education teacher, with a doctorate in Natural Science.

Photo: Prensa Latina

When the Revolution triumphed, in 1959, an important group of female teachers and professors in work, put their knowledge to the service of the new Cuba, as did the 10,000 unemployed teachers, the majority of whom were from the discriminated against female sex.

They enthusiastically took on consulting for the National Literacy Campaign, which happened in 1961 through around 100,000 brigadiers, students who were almost children, many of whom embraced teaching forever.

The University Reform of 1962 involved extraordinary teachers in the humanistic branches such as Vincentina Antuña (1909-1993), Mirta Aguirre (1912-1980), Rosario Novoa (1905-2002), Hortensia Pichardo (1904-2001), Dulce María Escalona (1901-1976) and Estrella Rey (1921-2008), among others.

Sarah Isalgué (1894-1989) and her husband, Salvador Massip, eminent geographers and educators, are responsible for the National Atlas of Cuba, a work that revolutionised the learning methods of geographical knowledge of the country.

Leonela Inés Relys Días (1947-2015), a young teacher of reading and writing in 1961, created the Cuban method, “Yes, I can”, a programme to put an end to illiteracy, which is used in numerous countries.

From the fresh talent of the year 1961, sprouted hundreds of educators such as María Teresa Ferrer Machado (1947), a primary school teacher, therapist in the Speciality of Mental Delays, with a degree in Pedagogy and Psychology and a doctorate of Pedagogical Sciences.

For this member of the VII Legislature of the National Assembly (2008-2013) and then Member of the Council of State, one of the distinctions that she most appreciated was “Golden Chalk Teacher”, awarded by the University Students Federation (FEU). She was national vanguard for nine years. (PL)

(Translated by Donna Davison. Email: donna_davison@hotmail.com) – Photos: Pixabay

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