Crisis in Venezuela: teachers warn that education is collapsing and call for a march on Monday

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On that day, schools are scheduled to reopen for “pedagogical assistance, although face-to-face classes are still suspended due to the coronavirus.

Representatives and unions from the education sector warned this week that the crisis in education is deepening in Venezuela, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition, they called for a protest against the “educational scam”, this Monday, October 5, when by order of President Nicolás Maduro, schools and high schools must open as “pedagogical assistance centers” in the week of easing the quarantine.

“It is time to save education together because in this way we are saving democracy and all the rights violated by an inhuman regime,” demanded Raquel Figueroa, president of the Federation College of Teachers of Venezuela.

Speaking during the Great Assembly of Education, last week, where more than 30 trade union organizations and representatives of the sector participated, as well as deputies of the National Assembly, he stressed that “there is a large social inequality gap on the right to education “.

“Not only is there a practice of de-professionalization of teaching, but wages and social security disappeared. We are faced with a gigantic catastrophe that has destroyed Venezuelan education,” said the also coordinator of the Democratic Unit of the Education sector.

He indicated that the salary of teachers in the public sector does not exceed 4 dollars a month, and proposed to carry out “forceful actions” nationwide to “expose the educational scam” on October 5. On that day, by order of Maduro, educational centers must open their doors to hold meetings between parents, representatives and teachers.

In turn, Lourdes Viloria, president of the Federation of University Professors, emphasized that “public education is the responsibility of the State, but it is not being guaranteed.”

“The destruction of the conditions of study, access and prosecution is a tragedy for the people, educators, the student sector and education workers,” he lamented.

The teacher warned that “There are no conditions” for distance classes, due to power failures, internet, lack of equipment and cell phones state-of-the-art technology that neither students nor teachers have, and even less for face-to-face ones, due to the terrible conditions in which the centers are without water, enough bathrooms, etc. they even guarantee food for their families. “

“Enough of the impoverishment of educational workers. We are not willing with our work and sacrifice to keep the institutions open so that a dictatorship tries to make the world believe that they are providing the conditions of study. That is false, it is a scam, for the people and the world, “Viloria emphasized.

While the deputy Bolivia Suárez said that the “great destruction and tragedy of the learning system is a weapon that serves the regime to stay in power.”

Warned that what is at stake is the survival of the education system, for which he ratified that the way out of this crisis “is to leave the regime, and form a National Emergency Government that opens the doors to democracy and freedom.”

Maduro decreed that the new school year that started on September 16 will be held in the remainder of the year under the “online” or “teleclass” mode, through a channel that he set up to transmit educational videos.

This is to prevent the spread of Covid-19, which has left more than 76,000 infections and 643 deaths, according to official figures, much disputed by the opposition, which ensures that the number could be much higher.

In addition, he asked the telecommunications regulatory body, CONATEL, to install Internet in public educational centers and invest more in connectivity, as well as equip schools and high schools, although he said that “we will see if we return to the classrooms in January.”

By Milagros Rodríguez, ANSA agency

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