US blockade affects special education in Cuba
Havana, Nov 17 (Prensa Latina) The US economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba affects the normal development of special education and early childhood in the country, sources from the Ministry of Education (MINED) denounced on Tuesday.
MINED National Director for Special Education Beatriz Roque told local television about the difficulties they face in acquiring essential resources such as electric chairs for children with motor disabilities, especially those with muscular atrophy.
Those accessories are imported from distant markets, she pointed out; therefore, they are much more expensive.
The US blockade also hampers the purchase of other special equipment such as Perkins machines to teach blind and visually impaired children, as well as batteries for hearing aids, among others.
Meanwhile, Maria de los Angeles Gallo, director of Early Childhood at MINED, noted the problems they face in completing the modules of didactic aids and toys necessary in the learning process of children from one to six years of age.
It also affects the acquisition of teaching materials, as well as access to resources and raw materials to repair child-care centers, she added.
Cuba has established in its Constitution the existence of a free and inclusive educational system to which it dedicates a large part of its annual budget, about 23 percent of planned social spending in 2020.
However, the US blockade causes damages in the sector that in the period between April 2019 and March 2020 amount to 21,226 dollars.
Despite that, Cuba's achievements in terms of its educational policies and the guarantee of inclusive and quality education are recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
In general, the US coercive measures caused losses to Cuba at that stage in the order of 5.5 billion dollars, a figure that for the first time exceeds the barrier of 5 billion dollars, without considering actions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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