National Geographic : 1977 Jan
Answer to the high cost of education, Cuban boarding schools alternate classroom study with work for the state. Near Ceiba del Agua, southwest of Havana, students from grades seven through ten give half of each day to weeding strawberries in a government field (left); the other half day is devoted to classes. Instead of gardening, 16 year-old Mirna Montesdeoca cultivates budding minds in a seventh-grade physics class while also developing her own skills as a teacher (below). At the prestigious Lenin School (below, left) high-ranking students assemble transistor radios to be sold by the state. Children in elementary schools also learn the value of manual labor by tending small school gardens. In the belief that all work and no play is bad, the Lenin School includes an Olympic-height diving platform and Olympic-size racing pool (bottom).