Cuban students have a positive attitude towards diversity

According to the coordinator of the Latin American Laboratory for Evaluation of Education Quality (LLECE), Carlos Henriquez, Cuba must “recognize the importance of gender equality and cultural diversity and promote educational opportunities so that every student has the right basic education for their development”.

Photo: Jorge Luis Baños / IPS

Havana, December 20 – Cuban sixth graders stand out among their peers in Latin America and the Caribbean by exhibiting a greater positive attitude towards openness to diversity, according to the Regional Comparative and Interpretive Study (ERCE 2019) presented by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office (UNESCO, for its acronym in English) .

I agree with you research dataPublished December 16 on the organization’s website, Cuba achieved the highest percentage of positive responses (93 percent) in North America.

Measuring the degree to which students perceive or anticipate their ability to accept, tolerate and make connections with people who are different from themselves.

The post notes that girls and boys surveyed in 16 Latin American countries mostly answered “I would like a little” or “I would like a lot” to situations such as “If your students had come from another country”; “If a student with a disability (for example, who is blind, deaf, or needs a wheelchair) comes to your course”; or “If a student comes to your course and has a different skin tone than yours.”

Other important skills

Among the results of the study, which evaluated students’ performance in the areas of reading, mathematics, and science, and examined social and emotional skills associated with learning achievements, Cuba was also shown to have the highest level of school self-regulation in the region.

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With 87 percent positive responses, participants from the Caribbean nation expressed their ability to regulate emotions, thoughts, and behaviors during the learning experience and to persevere toward desired achievement.

Most responded “many times” or “almost always or always” to situations such as

“Before I start playing, I finish studying”; “I follow the rules of the class, even if the teacher is not looking at me”; “I ask the teacher for help when I don’t understand what to do,” and “Even if things don’t work out, I keep trying.”

On the other hand, the island was marked by reporting higher levels of empathy than the regional average (70 percent of positive responses). In this sense, girls and boys select answers “many times” or “almost always” to questions that elicit situations where they have to put themselves in someone else’s shoes emotionally or understand their point of view and act in tune with what is happening to them.

Teachers’ role

ERCE 2019 also measured schools’ concern for the well-being of their students, with the latter consulting on how frequently they perceive their teachers to express emotional support (demonstrating interest in them, being interested in situations that interest them, encouraging them to feel better, etc.).

In the case of Cuba, the score was from measures of empathy, school self-regulation and

Openness to diversity increased at the levels that expressed the relationship of these social and emotional skills with greater interest in teachers.

Likewise, positive student-teacher relationship balances appeared in measurements of learning support and teaching organization.

Achievements and challenges of inclusive education

Evidence provided by ERCE 2019 confirms that students report higher levels of social and emotional skills in schools where there is greater interest in them and them by faculty, where there is greater support for learning and where teaching demonstrates high organization.

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According to UNESCO, the research showed that “schools make a difference in the development of these skills, although their incidence is less than in educational attainment. There is an opportunity for educational centers to contribute and promote their development from an early age.”

Preschool attendance has also shown a positive correlation with the development of social and emotional skills. It has been found that those who receive early education show higher levels of self-regulation in school and openness to diversity compared to others who do not reach this level of education.

Finally, the study highlighted gender differences in the three reported social and emotional skills. Girls score higher in this regard in 15 of the 16 countries participating in the research.

Claudia Uribe, Director of the Regional Office of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean, warned that “after the prolonged closure of schools, it is more urgent today than ever to give teachers the tools so that they can accompany their students in their socio-emotional dimensions that have been severely affected by the pandemic.” (2021)

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