Economic Crisis In Venezuela Spills Into Classrooms
When does a country become so poor that it can longer allow its people to afford elementary education? This is the condition of Venezuela under the current economic crisis which they are facing since middle of last year. While more than 30,000 schools open throughout the country this season, most of them are facing a massive dearth of resources which include electricity, water, and sanitation. But this is not the only cause for the lack of students in the classrooms.
Who Are The Victims?
The common people of Venezuela are victims of an extremely inflated economy. As a result of this, even the most common items such as pencils and notebooks are priced at sky high rates which they can no longer afford. School uniforms and shoes have also become commodities which pose a burden to the regular middle-class parents. In such a condition, these parents are readily not sending their children to the schools and rather choosing to home school them.
According to some teachers the few students who are turning up for school are the ones who are in shattered conditions due to the economic crisis as they cannot even afford three meals a day at home. Since government run schools in Venezuela offer free meals for students. these students are turning up so that they can eat and hardly any of them are interested in the education in times like these. Higher schools have and even more dearth of students as most of them are trying to find thrift jobs to support their families. And the schools are also understaffed and without proper resources. Certain schools report that they have electricity only for 6 hours a day and no water for half the days of every week.
Why Did It Happen?
One can only wonder what has brought down the economy of this country to such levels even though there are no wars brewing in recent times. According to economists this is a result of the sudden changes introduced to the economy to suit it towards a socialist fashion. They claim that these changes have left the value of the Venezuelan currency highly inflated and therefore the middle class and lower economic classes are suffering
massively up to the point where even education is now being considered as a secondary resource.
The President of Venezuela however has a different perspective towards this crisis. He claims that this is a result of an economic war which is being carried out by various adversaries. He also claims that these adversaries are all backed by the United States government. However, he has refused to open up on the details of this so called ‘economic war’ and what benefits the U.S.A. may be receiving from it. Although he has said it is certain that the inflation is a direct result of this war. But at the same time, it is worth mentioning that the United States government has done as little as possible to help its neighboring countries in distress.
Schools in Venezuela have always had a problem with the number of students, however this season it has hit new lows as in many schools almost 99% of students did not turn up for their academic sessions.