Saturday 22 October 2016

Cuba Day 0

So, I'm sat in the hotel at heathrow airport, ready to board a flight tomorrow to Havana to find out more about education in Cuba, a country which defies all the supposed wisdom of the global education  'reform' movement. Cuba has one of the highest standards of education in the world, despite spending a fraction of the amount the UK or US do, resisting the market reform mania that has gripped the rest of the world, and still being subjet to a comprehensive economic blockade by the world's most powerful country.

What Cuba has achieved is nothing short of a miracle.

From the literacy campaign of 1960-61, which eradicated illiteracy in under 18 months to being rated the best education system in Latin America and one of the best in the world by the World Bank just two years ago, Cuba continues to defy the logic that privatisation and marketisation lead to the holy grail of improved educational outcomes.

Of course, at 13%, Cuba allocates a greater share of its national budget to education than any other country in the world. But for a developing country with a per-capita GDP one seventh that of the UK, it is still a relatively small amount in cash terms.

Over the next week, we wil be finding out what lessons we can learn from the country which achieved the Millenium Development Goals for education many years before they were set. In particular, we will be looking for alternatives to the Department for International Development's failed model of spending UK aid money of private school places, esentially subsidising the profits of British and US edu-businesses.

I am excited about what we will find.

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