Adolescent training in vocational schools
UNICEF works to develop capacities among teachers and principals across the country’s 51 vocational schools
Vocational training in Cuba has several components in formal education. These schools are vocationally-oriented, including skill training and development to work in industry, agribusiness, services, among others, and to achieve proper social integration of graduates.
The Vocational Schools program in particular receives adolescents aged 13 and over with school backwardness of two or three courses, and special school graduates, who account for 15 per cent of these schools’ enrolments.
Currently, all 51 (49 unmixed and 2 mixed) vocational schools are operating in 12 provinces. More than 4,000 students take vocational programs at the primary level and skilled workers programs.
Students enrolled in vocational schools come from diverse backgrounds and their heterogeneous composition, which is still marked by a record of school failure, intellectual disabilities and emotional and behavioural disorders, has taken shape in a discriminatory stigma that includes not only children and adolescents, but also the very social function of vocational schools.
In these schools, the program implements a new conceptualization of training in life skills and social integration of adolescents, according to UNICEF priorities for the Second Decade, Generation Unlimited and Framework for Life Skills, Employment and Decent Work. This component addresses the capacities of educators and officials from 51 vocational schools to bring new meaning to the model, through knowledge development and exchange about new concepts, positive parenting styles, values and life projects.
UNICEF contributes to knowledge management among teachers and principals from the existing 51 vocational schools across the country with the implementation and development of new school curricula, and the creation of family-oriented awareness-raising materials.
By 2024, UNICEF expects that 8,028 adolescents from 51 vocational schools will participate in programs for learning skills development, personal empowerment, active citizenship and employability under this new concept that responds to the interests of adolescents.
In this sense, advocacy and Communication for Development become significantly important in the promotion of the new conceptualization of vocational training among adolescents and the sensitization and training of teachers and parents on values and life skills formation, employment and decent work.