St. Maarten Students request exchange visits with Cubans

POSTED: 09/12/11 12:05 PM


GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – The head of the Cuban delegation Dania Mesa Valenciano that visited recently has said that exchange visits between students in St. Maarten and Cuba could happen if it is made part of a cooperation agreement that will be drafted following their visit. The idea for the exchange visits was raised by the principal and followed up by a student. Valenciano said it would be possible if it is placed in the framework of a still to be negotiated agreement between the relevant ministries in both countries.

The meeting at St. Dominic is one of the last encounters the delegation had before returning to Cuba on Friday. One of their other last stops was a meeting with the schools managers of the public schools at the Oranje School. Delegation member Dr. Marlene Esther Daley-Gonzalez, who is Vice Chancelor of Research and Post-Graduate Studies at the University of Pedagogical Sciences at Santiago de Cuba, gave a presentation on the set up of primary school education in the Cuban education system gave an overview. This presentation, which also included specific explanations from some of Gonzalez’s collagues, was made because of the high level of interest in the subject from the school managers.

Some of the specific remarks are that Physical Education is a mandatory subject that has equal importance as Mathematics or any other subject and that the Cuban school day runs from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Students who have working parents have their lunch at school at 12:00 noon and students with parents who are working go home for lunch between 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. The delegation also pointed out that education is compulsory until pre-university and that parental involvement is fundamental. Cuba believes a school for parents who need help to assist their children is one of the key success factors in their education system.

The delegation’s final meeting was a wrap up session with the Minister on Thursday ahead of their departure on Friday.

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