chapter  8
The 1961 National Cuban Literacy Campaign
ByMarvin Leiner
Pages 24

In 1979, Erwin Epstein, former president of the Comparative and International Educational Society, praised the Cubans' "heroic effort to raise their standard of education and make learning a natural part of their everyday lives." The pivotal event in Cuban educational change was the National Literacy Campaign of 1961. The literacy campaign must be viewed as part of an overall Cuban national strategy for the development of society. In addition, education became a tool for promoting development through the training of a skilled and technically proficient population. The basic organizational structure was modified according to the actual experience during the Campaign. Thousands of new texts were developed to achieve the advanced literacy goals. At the thirty-fourth Council of the Cuban Workers Federation, held in February 1975, a new literacy program was proposed. The striking achievements of the Literacy Campaign provided the impetus for continued expansion of educational programs since 1961.