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At night when her five year-old daughter is sleeping, she re-starts his working day at Antonio Guiteras Holmes pre-university school.

The 132 twelfth grade students of the institution will study pedagogic careers in order to complete the staffs in the educational system.

To the principal Luis Duarte, Mariela is that kind of professionals that schedules and organizes all of the activities her 30 pupils will develop, caring their general performance in which learning and motivations should go together.

"To be in a boarding school -she affirms- may bring longings to many students, since they are far from their family".

"Therefore, the school should be a pleasant place, with good relationships and a suitable environment. Here the FEEM (Federation of High School Students) organizes recreation activities and the students watch good films and participate in movie debates.

"I think the teachers of this education level should know the characteristics of this age. To adolescents the relationship with their classmates is the main thing, so we have to aim our educative actions at that principle, and influence positively if anything goes wrong".

You were selected as a pre-candidate to the just finished 10th SNTECD Congress (National Education, Science and Sports Union), which were the concerns in the previous assemblies?

"We all know that to work in a countryside school requires twice the sacrifice other centres make, for instance the bus that carries the personnel is usually late, so they get home at night sometimes, when all the establishments are closed.

"We know there are problems with transportation, and this topic has been discussed with the authorities in the municipality who have participated in similar debates in our centre.

"Also the professors refer there is lack of moral stimulation, since the work of a teacher who has devoted decades to work in a boarding high school is rarely recognized in the neighbourhood.

"We have several of these professors here, among them, Valeriano García Pacheco. This school was inaugurated in 1973 and a year later he started working here. Even he went to Angola to a mission as a teacher, between 1978 and 1980".

At this point of the conversation, the principal introduces a very appropriate element to analyze:

"Everybody talks about the lack of teachers; instead... we have to think about all the things society does to change that, starting from the community".

This centre is a hope
Antonio Guiteras Vocational Pedagogic Institute is a hope to future teachers

This Vocational Pedagogic Institute is a hope for the future educative force, even taking into account the training methods. Reading habits are strengthened here more than in other places, since a future teacher must read a lot. Otherwise how could he encourage curiosity, interest and knowledge?

To give the best one should feel good and motivated. What is the role of the FEEM in all this?...Alejandro Felipe, president of this organization in the centre explained the way things change when students are encouraged and the organizations direct the work.

According to Alejandro, at the beginning of the school year, the athletics track was full of weeds; the basketball court had no baskets, and there were no games room.

But when the organization congress started, the statements made in the classrooms contributed to solve the difficulties. The unity and sense of belonging to a centre that has earned so much fame throughout its history were certain means.

The UJC, the FEEM, the general teachers and the members of the school headship took an area of the centre each, and included those actions into the emulation process to achieve a massive participation.

Little by little the weeds disappeared and they gathered some sport implements that afterwards increased thanks to a central assignment by the Ministry of Education to every school, which has revive sport practicing as a typical passion of an age that needs plenty of physical activity.

This pre-university school has turned out to be very well evaluated by a recent national inspection, and remains as an outstanding centre throughout the country.

"Weak spots", they know them really well: five of their professors are working in Havana province, due to the need of teachers in that territory. So the rest of the staff has much more work now.

Yosniel Díaz Fuentes is one of the 12 student teachers of the centre. He is in third year at the Higher Pedagogical Institute Rafael María de Mendive and is the secretary of the UJC (Young Communist League).

"The best way a teacher has to earn respect is through knowledge, so that students see he masters the subject. That is achieved with a lot of study and specialized advising".

We arrived the pre-university without notice and it was clean, organized and with a staff that guides the ship knowing the significance of its route.


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