“Blas Roca Calderío” University of Pedagogical Sciences (UCP) in the province of Granma has set out its aims for the 2015-2016 period: to commence the Arts Education degree course for students graduating from pre-universities and complete the process of integration with other centers of higher education across the territory. All this without sacrificing its teaching quality.
For those whoknow littleof this institution,located in the municipalityofManzanillo inGranma province, these projects may seemambitious, but after talkingwith Dr.OscarReyesVivero, UCP associate professorandrector, there is no roomfor doubt:everythingthis university staff proposes will be achieved.
Thishigher education institutionis responsible fortraining educators who will work in this region,other provincesand as part of the Cuba’s international education programs.
“We have a total of 20 approved degrees, of which 17 are currently enrolling for the daytime course,” says Dr. Vivero Reyes, adding, “We train professionals with a double major in five schools: Childhood Education, Sciences, Humanities, Technical Sciences and Pedagogy – Psychology.”
With a teaching staff of 541, of which over 75% have scientific degrees and over 40% have higher teaching status, the UCP of Granma has seen over 39,000 educational professionals graduate in its 38 years of functioning, which has allowed the area to be one of the territories that suffers no shortage of teachers.
“Our province satisfies the demand forteachersat all educationallevels.We also continueto enjoya high admissions rate in order to guaranteethe sustainability ofthis teaching staff,to respond toall requests forinternationalcooperationin the fieldof education andto servein otherregions within the countrywhen needed,” the Dr. explains.
INTEGRATION FOR QUALITY
As in other areas, since September, this province has been carrying out a process of integration across its higher education institutions, an experience which seeks greater quality in the teaching-learning process and to provide a more efficient use of material and human resources.
In the case of the UCP, from the 2015-2016 it will be integrated with the University of Granma and the School of Physical Education in the province. Its faculties will be located in the town of Manzanillo and there will be other campuses in the city of Bayamo with further presence in other educational centers. The UCP Rector spoke in relation to this process:
"All proposals relating to the management structure of the new university, the teaching centers in which we will work and the proposed methodological and scientific functioning have been made.
“We are in the process of determining who will be the leading cadres who will undertake the management process and how teachers will be distributed across the various departments in the new faculties.
“In our case, the five schools will be reduced to three: there will be a purely pedagogical one and another that will host the current degree courses of the University of Granma, seeking an integration process in which there is a rational and optimal utilization of material, human and financial resources, in addition to the shared enrichment that stems from the academic, scientific and pedagogical training of our teaching staff.”
LOOKING TOWARDS NEXT YEAR
One issue that can not be left out of this conversation is the accreditation of the university. Dr. Oscar Vivero Reyes took advantage of the opportunity to recognize the efforts of all employees to move toward the indicators set in the standards for quality evaluation and accreditation of higher education institutions.
With such commendable results in it’s almost four decades of existence and the impending incorporation with other higher education institutions, the work of the UCP in Granma province is just beginning, at a time when the role of universities becomes even more important to society. It is no wonder then that there are high expectations for the coming years:
“To continue to consolidate the training of our teaching staff, bearing in mind that their political-ideological, scientific-pedagogical and academic preparation, shapes the quality of the professionals we are teaching.
“To further strengthen vocational training and career orientation towards teaching careers to ensure the sustainability of our admission rates.
“To share all spaces that we have and will have with professionals from other disciplines of the university to which we will belong, to further enrich our cultural and comprehensive training, both for our staff and our students within the new teaching settings.”