HAVANA, Cuba — The first day of school began with a call to prayer at a school in Cuba’s north, where nearly 10,000 students were sent home to begin their first week of classes.
The school is a new building built to accommodate a population of just over 500,000 people.
The school’s first class began Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. as parents packed classrooms, many of them students who arrived from neighboring states and countries, hoping to catch a glimpse of their children.
The new school has a cafeteria and classrooms with chairs for children to sit in.
There are also a new playground for children with special needs, a basketball court and a volleyball court, which will serve as the main playground for the remainder of the school year.
“We had a lot of kids coming in, and we were all overwhelmed,” said Jose Fernandez, the school’s superintendent.
“They came here because they wanted to see their children and to see what we are doing here.
And it is wonderful.”
Schools in the northern Cuban province of Miranda opened earlier this year, but the new facility is the first of its kind in the country.
The first three schools in the new building are being opened this week, but will not be able to open for several months, according to the state government.
Miranda, which sits in the same area as the capital, Havana, is home to more than two million people.
It has been hit hard by the recent string of terrorist attacks, which have claimed nearly 50 lives.