The 1961 National Cuban Literacy Campaign

  • Marvin Leiner


In 1986, 27 years after its Revolution, Cuba’s highest flag is still the banner of education. Almost one-third of the people—three million—including nearly all children between the ages of six and twelve, are enrolled in school. The number of teachers committed to the educational enterprise continues to be a source of national pride.1


Sixth Grade Adult Education Mass Organization Social Revolution Agrarian Reform 
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  1. 1.
    José R. Fernández, Desarrollo de la Educación en Cuba, Speech delivered at the Pedagogía 86 Congress, Jan. 27-31, 1986 (Havana: Ministry of Education), pp. 38, 58.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For documentation of an educational system that had “steadily deteriorated,” see Hugh Thomas, The Cuban Revolution (New York: Harper and Row, 1971), pp. 349–353.Google Scholar
  3. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Report on Cuba (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1951), pp. 405, 425, 434.Google Scholar
  4. Anna Lorenzetto and Karel Neys, Methods and Means Utilized in Cuba to Eliminate Illiteracy (UNESCO Report), (Havana: Instituto del Libro, 2nd edition, 1971), p. 15.Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    Richard R. Fagen, The Transformation of Political Culture in Cuba (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1969), p. 35.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ibid., pp. 63-64. For additional data on Cuba’s ranking in social expenditures, see Ruth Leger Sivard, World Military and Social Expenditures, 1983: An Annual Report on World Prionties (Washington, D.C.: World Priorities, 1983).Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Jorge I. Domínguez, Cuba: Order and Revolution (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1978), p. 165.Google Scholar
  8. “Universidad Popular,” Educación y Revolutión, 6th series (Havana: Imprenta Nacional de Cuba, 1961), p. 271. John Gerassi, ed., Venceremos! The Speeches and Writings of Che Guevara (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1968), p. 391.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    Richard Jolly, “Education,” in Dudley Seers, ed., Cuba: The Economic and Social Revolution (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, 1964), pp. 194–195; Also see Lorenzetto, p. 29.Google Scholar
  10. 15.
    Rene J. Mújica, “Some Recollections of My Experiences in the Cuban Literacy Campaign,” Journal of Reading 25 (Dec. 1981), p. 222.Google Scholar
  11. 17.
    Abel Prieto Morales, “The Literacy Campaign in Cuba,” Harvard Educational Review 51 (February 1981), pp. 35–36.Google Scholar
  12. In addition to Prieto’s article, other key references on the literacy campaign are Lorenzetto, Fagen, Jolly; and Jonathan Kozol, Children Are the Revolution (New York: Delacorte Press, 1978).Google Scholar
  13. 18.
    Marta Rojas, “El Símbolo Fue el Farol” (Granma, December 30, 1968), p. 9.Google Scholar
  14. 24.
    Raul Ferrer, “Informe de la Comisión Nacional de Alfabetización,” Congreso National de Alfabetización (Havana: Imprenta Nacional de Cuba, 1961), p. 19.Google Scholar
  15. 26.
    Samuel Bowles, “Cuban Education and the Revolutionary Ideology,” Harvard Educational Review 41 (November, 1971), p. 474.Google Scholar
  16. 32.
    Gaspar Jorge García Galló, “La Escuela al Campo,” Educati ón en Cuba, 1 (January-February, 1967), p. 8.Google Scholar
  17. Also see Marvin Leiner, “Cuba’s Combining Formal Schooling with Practical Experience,” in Education for Rural Development: Case Studies for Planners, edited by Manzoor Ahmed and Philip Coombs (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1975), pp. 61–110.Google Scholar
  18. 33.
    For further discussion of Cuban day care personnel problem and the “paraprofessional solution,” see Marvin Leiner, Children Are the Revolution: Day Care in Cuba (New York: Penguin Books, 1978), pp. 33–50.Google Scholar
  19. 38.
    Rosario Fernández Perera, Raul Ferrer Pèrez, Teodomira Aguilar Abreu, Jaime Canfux Gutiérrez, Lorenzo Rabre Alvarez, La Batalla por el Sexto Grado (Havana: Editorial Pueblo y Educatiòn, 1985), pp. 7, 86-88.Google Scholar
  20. 40.
    Closing Speech by Fidel Castro at the Pedagogy 86 International Congress held in Havana, 1986; also see Marvin Leiner, “Cuba’s Schools: 25 Years Later,” in Sandor Halebsky and John Kirk, eds., Cuba: Twenty-Five Years of Revolution 1959-1984 (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1985), pp. 33–35.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marvin Leiner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Elementary and Early Childhood EducationQueens CollegeFlushingUSA

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