With Cubans increasingly eager to get off the island by any means necessary, the business of foreign language instruction is booming. The government there appears to have taken note, however, and is now reigning in its citizens’ efforts at self-improvement by restricting access to language instruction in state outlets.
The stated reason is that demand has outstripped supply. But the real reason, as Orlando Palma notes in 14ymedio, is that students take the lessons and then high-tale it out of the country with their new-found knowledge.
According to a decree from the Education Ministry recently published in the Official Gazette, only people over 17 will be allowed to take state-sponsored foreign language lessons and all students will be limited to one language at a time. Only under extraordinary circumstances will “housewives, retirees, other students in senior high schools or universities, or those not working for the social-economic interests of the locality and for the creation of an emerging workforce” be allowed to take lessons. “Workers” will have priority.
In other words — only good revolutionaries will have access to state-sponsored foreign language instruction going forward. Anyone with access to hard currency, however, will be free to turn to any of the hundreds of cuentapropistas now trying to earn a living teaching their compatriots how to maneuver through the wider world.
1- Image was taken by hrw