Monday, February 9, 2009
Camagüey, leading province in the implementation of the Countryside School Plan
By Aramis González Cruz.
Camagüey celebrated with joy the 40th anniversary of the Countryside School Plan and the 35th of the implementation of the Middle School in the Countryside Program.
Scattered over the geography of the province and mostly concentrated near the village of Sola, municipality of Sierra de Cubitas, still today these educational institutions are linked to the vast citriculture plan developed in northern Camagüey.
On April, 22nd 1966, over 8 thousand students attending the Middle School in the territory of Camagüey massively participated in the program that mixed the education with the production, conception taken from the ideals of National Hero José Martí and encouraged by the rising Revolution.
The senior officials of the Ministry of Education, of the then National Institute of Agrarian Reform (INRA) moved to the province to work side by side with the local executives to gain experience for the further national implementation of the program in the following school year.
Some 72 hours before the beginning of the mobilizations, the then Minister of Education, Jose Llanuza Gobel, told the Camagüeyans the high honour of having being chosen for the testing, and he urged those in charge of the Countryside School Plan to organize the enlisting of the secondary school students.
In the following days the organizers met the parents of those who studied in the seventh and the eighth grades in order to clarified certain doubts, and organize the brigades.
The first students who departed for the labours in the countryside did it on the morning of April 22nd, 1966. This way a novel and revolutionary project in the history of the Cuban education was materialized. Prior to this mobilization the countryside school was merely a spontaneous initiative of teachers and students.
After remaining 35 days in productive activities, the beginners of the transcendental program return to their homes. It was on May 26th 1966.
Prior to that date, the technological centers known as “Plan Beca”, mobilized to solve needs of the economy. The new project brought more advanced didactic methods, than allowed to encourage universal values among the young population in Cuba.
Camagüey has the exceptional merit of having been the pioneer in the application of the Countryside School Plan. From that moment on new camps in rural areas were inaugurated. Students from all the junior and senior high schools of the cities were mobilized to zones known as Las Cuabas, Rebolico, Vertientes and Najasa.
Domingo Cisneros Cabrera, founder of that project, was responsible of the Camp Ignacio Agramonte and by that time he welcomed the secondary school students. The results showed that the program yielded high performances in the productive and in the educational matter.
Domingo Cisneros assures that the success of the mobilizations carried out in Camagüey proved that the conditions to generalize the experience throughout the Island were already created.
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