The government closely oversees home ownership and real estate transactions. Few people can easily change their places of residence because the government’s system of enforced home “exchanges,” or trading, prevents housing sales. The Urban Reform Law of 1960 prohibited landlords from renting urban real estate, and families soon began buying homes by paying the current rental sum for between 5 and 20 years. Many families have acquired titles to houses and apartments in this fashion, and the rest pay a small percentage of their salary as rent to the state. Many rural families have achieved free use of formerly rented lands, and traditional rural bohíos (“huts”) are being slowly replaced by more modern housing units. However, a decline in home building during the 1960s and ’70s, combined with the destruction of old housing through neglect, induced a severe housing shortage.
The government later experimented with housing brigades, but the shortage has continued. Education is nominally free at all levels, with supplementary scholarships to cover living expenses and medical assistance. Primary education is compulsory for children between 6 and 11 years of age. Courses involving technology, agriculture, and teacher training are emphasized. Only a small minority of Cubans are illiterate. In 1961 the government nationalized all private schools and introduced a state-directed education system. It includes a combination of programs in preschool, 12 or 13 grades, higher education, teacher training, adult education (notably literacy campaigns and continued study by working people), technical education (which is parallel to secondary education), language instruction, and specialized education.
Women are guaranteed equal educational opportunities and account for more than half of university graduates. Education expenditures receive high priority, and the number of students enrolled has increased sharply from prerevolutionary days. Nevertheless, the economic upheaval after 1991 strained the state’s long-standing efforts to ensure access to quality educational services. "Cuba" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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