A Look At Cuba’s Educational System

There are many different types of education systems in various countries and cultures.

Some cultures value education more than others, while others only value it for how it impacts different functions in society. 

A look At Cuba’s Educational System

This article will cover what type of education Cuba has in place today and how it came to be.

It will also cover how much Cubans value their educational system.

The Start Of Their Free Education

In 1961, after the Cuban Revolution, the Cuban people were given free schooling and education.

When given this chance, they wanted to reform every school to ensure they could teach to the best of their abilities.

It meant having equipment and resources for the children.

After these material changes, enrollment in both primary and secondary schools increased massively. 

Importance Of Literacy

After the revolution, Cubans wanted to ensure full equality on the island, so they taught everyone to read and write.

Many young volunteers who could read and write would go to the homes of illiterate people and teach them these valuable skills.

Cuba didn’t want anyone in their adulthood to be illiterate, so they invested plenty of money into building hundreds of classrooms to make enough room for everyone to attend. 

Another great introduction was the use of the other educational facilities for people with physical and mental disabilities who struggled to learn the same way as everyone else.

They could get more specialized help, enabling them to learn more productively. 

Has Education Changed Today?

Since 1961, there have been some changes, but a lot has remained the same.

The system has decayed over time, and financial struggles have taken control of the amount of funding given to the education systems.

However, it has always been a vital priority for Cubans as they understand that school and education are imperative for society.

It is still mandatory to attend school until the 9th grade. Education is still free of charge.

Even though this country has struggled with money and finance, they have still not made their people pay for education as it is a human right.

There is also a university system that is slightly different from many other countries.

For example, it is free for you to attend the university, but it comes with a catch.

If you wish to attend university, you will not have to pay the debt back if you go into a services job for three years afterward and live off a below-average salary.

If you do not wish to do this, the diploma you received from your course will not be valid. 

The Success Of Schools Now 

There have been improvements in how many people stay in school and reach a good level of education where they have benefited from school.

For example, the number of people that couldn’t make it past 3rd grade decreased from 7.5% to 1.5%. These figures show that their education system is working for them.

Another beneficial factor is that they have gradually improved their academic studies.

They still teach literacy and math, but now they also teach art, music, and much more. 

This education system has come a long way since the 1960s.

Due to them always making their education system their priority, it has grown and flourished.

From not many people being able to attend school, now it is free and mandatory. 

A look At Cuba’s Educational System (2)

Extras For The Students

Cuba also thought extracurricular activities and after-school activities were vital for students.

These include drawing, dancing, and some singing too. 

These were all introduced to help kids enjoy being at school and make aspects of it fun so they would want to attend.

However, most ended due to the financial issues Cuba was facing.

After seeing how much the kids loved them, volunteers decided to start the after-school activities up again without being paid.

It kept the children happy without taking any money away from the schools or parents.  


Even though schools are their top priority, there is still only so much money they can put into maintaining the school buildings and keeping them in good shape.

They are in quite a poor state because the buildings need repairs, but there is no money to pay for them. 

It also means that their resources are poor. However, they wanted the children of Cuba to have an opportunity to learn – which they have provided.

Another factor that is quite difficult to handle is the number of teachers they have in Cuba.

There is a shortage of teachers available compared to the number of children in school. 

It is mainly because of the budget available for teachers’ salaries compared to skilled workers.

Skilled workers get paid more than teachers, which is why more people choose to train to be other workers rather than teachers.

There are also strict rules put in place inside of the schools. Children are taught all about communism and what they must believe.

If the students learned anything different, teachers could go to prison as punishment. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does The Education System In Cuba Work?

Education is now mandatory in Cuba until students reach the ninth grade. It is also free on all levels, including university.

Drop-out levels are now less than 1% of students, with 98.2% continuing their education after sixth grade. 

Is Cuba’s Education System Good?

Yes, Cuban education has been ranked highly for many years.

There are several well-established colleges and universities around Cuba, including the University of Havana, founded in 1727.


Overall, in every area of the world, there are different types of education and opportunities.

However, in this case, the history of Cuba and its education system is something to be admired. 

Even though it might not be in the best condition, they put everything they could into making it better for their people.

They’ve done this by ensuring that everyone could read and write and by making their education free. 

The revolution pushed along many necessities in the country.

If this had not happened, likely, the majority of Cuban society could still be illiterate today. 

Jim Stanton
Latest posts by Jim Stanton (see all)