It’s a matter of falling in love

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What excuse is needed to teach and learn? I believe that common sense, instinct of conservation and desire to build a better world at all costs.

That question, like an alarm, is lit again after the bad results that were thrown the exams of admission to Higher Education in the senior high school Capitán San Luis, of Jaruco.

It is a problem that goes beyond the local level and covers the whole country in a general way, where the apathy of young people towards university is almost viral.

To pursue a career implies efforts, sacrifices and a higher quota of perseverance. Hence, to achieve a university degree it is necessary to travel a path where there are thorns, but also roses.

Dr. Gisela Rubio Cabrera of Jaruco told me how, during the special period, she did her medical degree in Havana, along with other co-workers who nowadays are renowned by the medical community of Mayabeque, such as the Internal Medicine Specialist Miriam Brito and the otolaryngologist Olga Lidia Vicente, Head of the Audiology Program in Mayabeque.

They tell that they studied with candles or oil lamps at night, that they went hungry and that moving to and from Jaruco was a true odyssey. They said that from the middle of the hard of that stage flourished the human and professional quality that distinguishes them until today.

These days we fathers are butter and we make it easy for the children to be too permissive, following their orders, accepting their pretexts, and inculcating them that they are the navel of the world.

But the issue is to achieve (family-school), which each student is able to assess their capabilities, strengths and weaknesses, and about it work. The instincts or natural virtues also count, what is missing is to discover them, bring them afloat and nurture them.

For that young people need help and above all guidance, and vocational is essential. The school and the family, both in parallel, are responsible for that mission whose success depends on taking the right direction.

The universities are a good example of the steps taken in favor of a suitable preparation as a prelude to higher education, and the results are palpable in the institutions of the Ministry of Higher Education in Cuba.

But in the current scenario some students (including many talented), say goodbye to the continuity of studies once completed the Bachelor or twelve grade, to access a labor market that provides them with hard cash. And in many cases, even if little is mentioned, they emigrate from the country.

The causes are multiple and they go from the cultural formation, to the individual socioeconomic conditions. Some are encouraged by their own parents, others are driven by need, but in the end they lose the opportunity to train as professionals at the ideal moment of their lives.

The lack of interest of the students for the study when they are about to face the entrance exams, is a common factor that teachers and the student collectives put on the table.

The passion of the one who teaches is also lacking. It is true that the challenge of the pedagogues is enormous before a generation that has different expectations, that moves in a very complex economic and social context, marked also by deep transformations in all the orders.

But, as an eleventh-grade student from Mayabeque Exact Sciences Pre-university warned, “empathy between students and teachers is important, and also that these, in addition to knowledge, know how to teach.”

Yaray Hernández Mesa, professor of Mathematics at the senior high school Capitan San Luis of Jaruco, complains about the growing discouragement of the boys; he said that they do not study consciously; that they are finalists and that they missed a lot to the reviews for entrance exams.

But what is missing and essential, in my view, is falling in love. Yes, of the school, of the teacher, of his future and of himself. And that is the biggest challenge for teachers today.

The North American professor of Mathematics Morris Kline, writer of history, philosophy and teaching of mathematics gave some keys to achieve it and I quote:

“I would like to urge all teachers to become actors. His technique in the classroom must be supported by all the devices used in the theater. Teachers can and should be dramatic in class. Not only mention facts, but also apply them. Even the eccentricities of human behavior can be used to arouse interest. We should not be afraid of humor and should use it freely. Even an irrelevant joke is enormously rewarding for the class. ”

This kind of advice or invitation could revert later the academic quality in senior high schools and other educations. However, it is necessary to review how teachers work and how they now live. Improving their situation is also urgent; I would say that it can not be postponed.


Translated by Ada Iris Guerrero

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