Issue #1566 26 September 2012
Event celebrates success of Cuban literacy campaign
An enthusiastic crowd of around 70 people gathered at the offices of the CFMEU in Sydney on Saturday night to hear from Cuban literacy advisor José Chala. The function, organised by the Communist Party of Australia, was an opportunity for local people to hear about the ground-breaking Yo Si Puedo (Yes I Can) literacy program that traces its origins back to the early days of the Cuban Revolution.
The first batch of students from the Aboriginal community in the NSW town of Wilcannia recently graduated from the course facilitated by the community itself with advice from Chala (see Guardian #1548). People attending the CPA function saw some of the materials used, which were adapted to suit the needs of the Aboriginal participants. Positive messages and a teaching environment suited to the local community were developed. Chala’s presentation was enthusiastically received and sparked a string of questions including from people with backgrounds teaching in Aboriginal communities. They noted the contrast between the Cuban methods and the top-down, bureaucratic style of “service delivery” practised in Australia.
Chala will return to Cuba shortly but it is hoped that the work can be continued in other communities in Australia.
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