Author: International Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
March 27, 2018 22:03:04
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Young people in the United States raised their voices this weekend against violence, under the theme March for Our Lives. Some one million people, mostly students, took to the streets of 800 towns across the country last Saturday to demand greater control over access to arms.
The mobilization follows one of the most recent school shootings, in Parkland, Florida, when, in the midst of Valentine’s Day celebrations, a 19-year-old boy killed 14 students and three teachers carrying a legally acquired assault rifle.
The fact once again opened up the debate in a country where there are an estimated 200 to 300 million guns, almost one per capita, and where lobbyists such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) are lobbying hard in Washington to avoid any legislation that would diminish the profits from their lucrative business.
NO TO GUNS
Such was the scope of the demonstrations, that some of the older attendees remembered those of the young people decades before against the intervention of the United States in the Vietnam War.
Mary Riley, a 50-year-old filmmaker who traveled from San Francisco to Washington to support young people, said, “What made a difference in Vietnam was when the students went out on the street and now the students are the ones who were shot and they are also future voters.
In that sense, one of the survivors of the February shooting told the crowd: “We can and will change this world!».
Tired of the killings and school insecurity, young people are asking politicians for more action, not so much their “prayers and thoughts”.
Author: Iramsy Peraza Forte | email@example.com
March 28, 2018 21:03:30
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
More than four decades after the victory over the American invaders and the beginning of reunification, Vietnam remains an inspiration.
The nation that became an example for all the revolutionaries of the world, stands today as a symbol of self-improvement.
The route taken by the implementation of the Doi Moi policy in 1986 not only enabled the Vietnamese to recover from that bloody war in which the United States, with the exception of nuclear weapons, used the most advanced military technology, but also catapulted them into one of the most dynamic economies of today with remarkable growth rates.
After 32 years, the country’s outstanding economic indicators demonstrate the success of this process, but also the major challenges it faces in ensuring the full well-being of its people.
Today’s Vietnam is not only strong and consolidated, it is also one of the territories with the greatest socio-economic progress in Asia. Over the last decade, the state has experienced sustained growth and last year the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) exceeded US $220 billion, with an expansion rate of 6.81%, the highest since 2011.
The renewal driven by the Vietnamese Party and Government has been focused on the diversification of the economy, as well as its insertion as a competitor in the world market. The country has gone from being a net importer of rice to becoming the world’s second-largest exporter. It is also discussing the top spots in the export of other products such as coffee, rubber, textiles, and footwear. In 2017 alone, exports exceeded US $213.77 billion, up 21.1% year-on-year.
In less than two decades, more than 20 million people have been lifted out of poverty. Primary school enrolment has reached almost 100%. Life expectancy is now around 70 years. These indicators, together with rapid economic progress, have placed it among the fastest-growing emerging countries.
The renewal also established a gradual growth strategy that combined domestic policies with the creation of a network of geopolitical alliances, first in the region and then towards the rest of the world.
The impact of Doi Moi is also notable in the process of industrialization, one of the long-term goals of the Indochinese country. Despite facing more than 20 years of a blockade imposed by the US government, Vietnam opted for the construction of a socialist state that would transform its primary economy from manual agriculture, where 90% of its population was rural.
Some of the routes approved at the 12th Congress of the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP) to achieve the goal of industrialization, set for 2035, have already been undertaken. They involve renewing the economic structure, raising productivity, strengthening macroeconomic stability and developing human resources to improve competitiveness in a technology-driven world.
But like any strategy, Vietnam’s reform process can also be improved and there are a number of challenges that Vietnam must face.
To continue on the path to success, the country has set out to create a greater investment climate, to free up much more productive forces, to deploy all economic components and to increase competitiveness, a prerequisite for consolidating itself as a middle-income nation and taking the next step.
But economic progress is only one part of the Vietnamese renewal process, and despite progress, the social costs of that transformation are recognized.
The total eradication of poverty, the reduction of inequalities, the reduction of child mortality and environmental sustainability, among others, are essential issues for the nation, aware that only in this way can it emulate the developed countries.
According to their authorities, to achieve the prosperity of all Vietnamese people, it is necessary to fight to narrow the gap between rich and poor, to pay greater attention to mountainous, remote and devastated areas and to generate greater opportunities for the most disadvantaged.
Achieving full access in education and exponentially improving its quality is another of the challenges and priorities of Vietnamese policy, which is committed to increasing resources for the training of its young people, who will have nation-building over their peers in the future.
By Yudith Madrazo Sosa
March 27, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
Women are opening up more and more spaces in the professional world.
When Juan Julio, after finishing high school, expressed his willingness not to take the Higher Education entrance exams, but to start working immediately on an uncle’s “palate”, his parents believed that the world was coming down on them. Accustomed to the above-average school performance from the young man, they always imagined him in a university classroom, where he would be trained as an engineer or professional in any other discipline.
However, the boy chose a different path, a shorter one that would lead him to “earn money quickly, without the need to be more tormented by his studies”. He wasn’t the only one in his group to make the decision. Before and after him, others decided the same thing. Such an attitude is part of a global trend: fewer and fewer male faces are being counted in universities.
According to data from the National Office of Statistics and Information (Onei), in Cienfuegos at the beginning of the 2016-2017 academic year, 5,212 students enrolled in Higher Education, of whom only 1,955 (37.5 percent) were men. Similar behavior had been recorded in previous periods.
If we look only at the numbers, the majority of girls in higher education would make us overflow with satisfaction, as we see how they are opening up more and more spaces in the professional world. But the fact, while reflecting the advancement of girls and young women, reveals the declining enrolment of boys at this level, a reality with different causes and whose analysis occupies many social researchers.
Some academics in the United Kingdom point out that the problem has its origins in primary education, although it is nourished by the economic reasons that discourage boys and lead them to think that a simple university degree is not worth the effort, time or financial resources necessary to obtain it. In the case of Cuba, although education is free, there are collateral costs during this time that not all families can afford. That is why some youngsters prefer to take the shortcuts that quickly lead to autonomy and economic solvency.
An inquiry by specialists from the Center for the Study of the Improvement of Higher Education (Cepes) of the University of Havana showed that in the 2014-2015 academic year, the preference for employment options was the main reason why high school students did not choose to move on to the next level. This interest is related to the economic reforms undertaken in the country, which open up multiple possibilities for non-state employment in areas where university degrees are not required and are better-paid than in the state sector.
But it is not always for these reasons that boys have less access to higher education institutions. Some who do have an interest fail because of insufficient school performance to meet that aspiration.
In this regard, research conducted by the University of Bristol sheds light on the fact that families tend to be more concerned about the school performance of girls than boys, with whom they are much more permissive. “Generally, parents are less concerned about their sons’ low grades than their daughters,” the inquiry says.
And it is not difficult to hear in our environment comments that support this idea. Phrases such as “if you want to leave school, you want to leave it, you want to become a mechanic like your father”; or “to be a driver, which you like, you don’t need to study so much”, are often expressed when you talk about your children’s professional future. Not so with their female peers, who almost always receive greater incentives: “study so that you can be someone in life and have your own money”, it is common to hear.
Let us add that the new forms of employment existing in the country are much more favorable for men. Although a not insignificant number of women have taken up self-employment, they are the majority of those who carry out the best-paid activities or run the juiciest businesses. These jobs undoubtedly have a powerful appeal to young people.
In the opinion of Dr. María Isabel Domínguez García, of the Centre for Psychological and Sociological Research of the Citma, “the intense feminization of Higher Education, although it is one of the great social achievements in the sense of promoting greater inclusion and equality of women, obliges us to consider policies that also stimulate the interest of young men in university education and guarantee the real possibilities of accessing and completing it successfully”.
One of these policies could be to stimulate the modality of courses by meetings, a good option for those children who need to work, as well as to make some processes more flexible in the regular daytime course, so that they can combine study with work.
Whatever the reasons why fewer men are coming to universities, it is urgent to explore mechanisms to achieve equity and create opportunities for girls and boys to live equally on campus.