First a wealth of opportunities to study, now more and more obstacles, something is clear, we don’t need more graduates. But, what about those who still haven’t finished their careers. Who cares about them?
By Jesuhadín Pérez Valdés
It’s hard for each of us to be aware of how little we mean to our Political System. Through the media, or making a popint in official speeches, they make us believe we’re the center of gravity of the whole system, and they describe themselves as the most just and democratic government in the world. But it’s enough to cross the threshold of our realities to realize, based on the “sticks” that, in reality, we are less than nothing. What matters to the powers-that-be is an abstract perfection for which, we ourselves, are mere instruments. Power only cares about power. The rest are cards that move according to their interests and intentions.
Three years ago the official policy was that of graduating professionals, happy for those who for various reasons, including politics, had not been able to earlier. Something that signified a huge challenge, if we take into account that many of those who accepted the challenge were workers who had their job responsibilities.
It seems that three years ago they thought one way, and today they think differently, totally differently indeed.
Currently it turns out that Cuba doesn’t need so many graduates, then those who started their university studies some years ago and still haven’t completed them, have been stranded in the middle of a network of disappointment, because the new educational philosophy not only fails to support these students, but abandons them.
When the System needs, it delivers; but in the middle of the road it changes its mind and simply turns its back. The people? Playthings in the hands of a compulsive child, a lot of interest at first but later they end up abandoned in the farthest corner of the house. What is this absurd policy? Why not at least recognize in a transparent way that the students are insignificant to them. Why does our System use them in such an abhorrent and inhumane way?
Conditions for learning don’t exist. There are no books to study, not even in a digital format. There are no internet services, no intranet, no academic support in the schools. The professors — very badly paid for sure — go to the classes, when they go, very poorly prepared. To whom do the students matter now? Why are they despised in this way?
I recognize that there never have been optimal conditions for study in this country — along with the stupefying ideology — when one thing isn’t lacking another one is, but at least there was an interest in what they were doing; that, although it was political, it served to keep the academic mechanism functioning. They were available to help, but now it seems that they hinder in the classrooms the same students whom the whole country was proud of years ago. They kick the vase that — having almost nothing to do — they were filling with flowers.
What they want is for us to desert! To leave the classrooms! So some students think. Without a doubt they will get it. Without material support for study they will fail en masse, then their lack of success will be the scapegoat and justification to close the classes.
They will leave because they are instruments the System no longer needs. No one argues, no one represents them, the student organizations are the long fingers of the System itself. They have no voice, they can’t protest, no newspaper will publish their disappointments, no official will listen to their needs.
It has gone out of style to boast about these “elements” in official speeches. Now the rhetoric focuses on media campaigns and other news. What matters has been tossed in the trash.
Us, we are the context for an end.
Jesuhadín Pérez Valdés. (b. 1973)
Founding member of the Editorial Board of the magazine Convivencia.
Living in Pinar del Rio.