Literacy Campaign

The literacy campaign
The literacy campaign

The Literacy Campaign’s History

The literacy campaign was a national task promoted by the Cuban government that took place in all the territory in 1961. Its main objectives were: to reduce illiteracy and increase the educational level in the population. This campaign began since 1960 and officially ended on 22 December 1961. At that time, the revolutionary government in a public ceremony in the Jose Marti Revolution Square, declared Cuba as a territory free of illiteracy. The literacy campaign was coordinated and controlled by the National Committee for Literacy and Basic Education, which was created in March 1959 and was composed by governmental and nongovernmental organizations. The Commission included a Technical Section, which was in charge of organizing the pedagogical work, literacy training and statistics work. The specific literacy tasks were decentralized and placed into the provincial and municipal levels. During the campaign, it took place the National Literacy Congress – from 2 -5 November, 1961 – and the International Student Seminar on Illiteracy.

Literacy Campaign and its influence

The influence of the Literacy Campaign brought a number of educational measures that were applied by the revolutionary government. On January 1961 the National Council of Culture was established, today current Ministry of Culture, which was given the task of creating a network of libraries that facilitate access of the population to the books collected by the revolutionary government. In 1962 the National Publishing House of Cuba was created, and the December 26th, 1960 the first comprehensive education reform was available. On 6th, June of the same year the General Nationalization Law of Education was issued. In its budgets was established that the Cuban education had a public character, which should be provided by the State as non-transferable duty and it was also a right that all Cubans should be guaranteed without discrimination and free of charge.

Results of the Literacy Campaign

The literacy campaign had for Cuba a great the magnitude of scope for that reason and to represent that stage, 1961 was proclaimed “Year of Education”. A census conducted between November of 1960 and August of 1961 recorded 985000 illiterates in Cuba. Given this figure, during the course of that year 1961 707212 people became literate and the campaign reduced the illiteracy rate from 20 percent to 3.9 percent. This educational achievement also allowed the eradication of illiteracy and provided universal access to all levels of education free of charge. The literacy campaign was favored by an educational environment where radio, television and the press played a leading role in the dissemination of knowledge of hygiene, health, art and many more.

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