Yesterday’s Utopia Turned Today’s Reality


By Delia Proenza Barzaga

Sancti Spíritus makes concrete a memorable event: even the province’s farthest school enjoys the privilege of electrification.

There is no longer a school in Sancti Spíritus that remains off from electricity. I just cannot figure out this previous sentence as a headline on a front page of a sensationalist newspaper of the former America’s neo-colonial Cuba, and I surprise myself too of my own utopia. Certainly, something like that couldn’t have been possible prior to the year of 1959. It is now the very reality of this revolution, and some day in a future will be history.


Nine children of the José Martí rural school, located on a hard-to-reach place, called Cuchara (Tablespoon), to which we cannot get through by a car, but on foot or on horseback, were the last ones in “seeing the light”, the light coming from some solar panels that turn the sunlight into electrons, which allow over 80 000 students from this Cuban central province and millions of people nationwide to view a sort of educational television broadcast.


This type of facility, fanned out through the Banao range has completely achieved such a serious commitment to have linked 564 educational centers in Sancti Spritus to the Educational Television Program. In shortly more than a year a number of 100 schools wound up electrified, 47 of them are far-off primary schools, where photovoltaic cells came to be more suitable.


However, the small “ninth” from Cuchara could not even imagine the exclusiveness of the fact that in addition to them, other rural schools (51) part of the Turquino Plan already boast a TV set and a videotape.


Though they are not aware yet of having become news, they now barely think of well-motivated lessons instead, think of something far more than a teacher, notebooks, pencils or a blackboard, they are joyful of watching cartoons, movies, news, and many other interesting documentaries on the world’s greatest wonders stilt on their chairs in the classrooms.

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