School Uniforms in Cuba

The arrival of September is overwhelming in most cases for parents and students, who now have to come up with a new strategy for their children just so they can study.

When the school year approaches, the line of parents trying to obtain the paperwork for their school uniforms is enormous. The worst-case scenario is that the students will only receive one for the entire year. It may seem like a basic thing and nothing to worry about, but in reality it is the accumulation of inconveniences that can be a major problem that ends up affecting the education and proper development of the child, for several reasons:



1. Children grow, their sizes change, and beyond that, but what happens if the only blouse or shirt that they have been given gets torn, stained, or fails to meet their needs. At school they are not allowed to enter with clothing other than the school uniform, as they can prohibit you from entering the classroom if you don’t show up in a full uniform. This can causes them to reject school and in turn lead to poor school performance, affecting the education and emotional stability of the child, since the child sees his student activity conditioned by the need to dress according to whatever regulations the school has imposed. Of course, the solution does not depend on the child, not even on their parents, who are criticized at best for not being able to solve the situation of the child's uniform.


2. In general, the price is $14 Cuban pesos (€0.6), that is, under normal conditions this is what it should cost you. However, if you want to get some others in the same store, you can talk to the clerk and get it “under the table”; in the size and quantity you want, but at a price of about $200 Cuban pesos (€8) each. Naturally, this is difficult and nearly impossible for most Cuban parents, who are ordinary workers with an average monthly salary of about $250 Cuban pesos (€10), and this only applies if we are talking about parents with only one child, if there are two brothers, then the story it is already twice as bad and unattainable.


3. The child who only has one school uniform for the whole week, represents a problem for working mothers. These children can come home from school dirty and often their blouses and shirts arrive torn, thus becoming a nightmare for the mothers, who don't know what to send the child to school in the next day. For other mothers, the problem is just seeing their children’s dirty school uniforms and not having a bar of soap to wash it (right now there is a shortage throughout the country and there is no soap). To make matters worse, incredible as it may seem, not all Cuban homes have a washing machine or dryer, so many mothers have to get something that guarantees that their child can go to school the next day in their full uniform. Thus, while we can say that you do not have pay tuition to guarantee the education of your child in Cuba, you would be amazed by the list of items we have to get that are necessary to start school:

  • Backpack – $500 Cuban pesos equivalent (€20)
  • Shoes – $300 Cuban pesos for the cheapest pair (€12)
  • White socks or stockings – $60 Cuban pesos (€2.4)
  • School accessories (markers, pencils, notebooks, erasers, etc.) – about $250 Cuban pesos (€10)
  • And for the grand finale, which is no less important, comes the school uniform, which is the main object. If you buy two, you know, you have to have about $400 Cuban pesos (€16).


As a result, many parents have to take out the money from their holiday accounts accumulated during the months of July and August just to meet some of these basic needs of their children. If one always takes into account that the average monthly salary is about $300 Cuban pesos (€12), then it is easy to see why the arrival of September is overwhelming in most cases for parents and students, who now have to come up with a new strategy for their children just so they can study.

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