July 2, 2019

LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: Venezuela’s Teachers And Students Skip School For Survival.

School staff are resigning in droves. Legions of students and teachers are among the 4 million Venezuelans who have fled the country in recent years. Those still going to school in the country often find that classes have been canceled due to power outages, water shortages and other breakdowns.

Some school buildings are falling apart, have been taken over by homeless squatters or are used by pro-government militias for training, says Nancy Hernández, a founder and board member of FENASOPADRES, a national association of PTAs.

In 2016, the last year the Venezuelan government released enrollment figures, about 8.5 million Venezuelan children were attending K-12 schools. Now, that figure may have dropped to about 6.5 million, according to rough estimates provided by Hernández.

One independent education group in Aragua state, just west of Caracas, reported that at the start of the current school year more than half of all students were no longer going to classes.

In a TV interview in May, Education Minister Aristóbulo Istúriz acknowledged problems but blamed them on U.S. economic sanctions and pointed out that, in spite of the government’s challenges, public school remains free.

Just like medical care in Cuba: It’s free, if you can get it.

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