School and Education in Venezuela


Both the leading parties in Venezuela’s parliament have made education a priority. It is free of charge at all levels and compulsory for 9 years since 1980. The private school sector is small. In 1993, 89% of children aged 6-14 were estimated to attend school. However, only half completed primary school due to quarantine and dropout in high school. The difference is considerable in resources between the city and the countryside. In the cities there is usually one teacher per grade, while the rural teachers take care of several grades. The standard in teaching results is on average low. Only about a third continue in grades 9–12, where the majority of students choose a general education program that provides higher education. The remainder choose a vocational preparation program in two or three years. The majority of secondary school students came from the cities in 1993.

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The higher education sector includes universities, teacher colleges, technical institutes and local colleges. The basic degree is, as in several Latin American countries, licencia, which qualifies for professions as a civil engineer, lawyer or doctor. Other degrees or certificates are also available. Since 1960, the number of students has increased thirty-fold, which has created major problems with lack of efficiency, large quarters and a shortage of competent teachers.

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In June 2011, Chávez appeared in Cuba, where he was operated on for cancer. Over the next year, he was re-examined several times in Cuba. In Latin America, there was speculation about whether the CIA was behind it. The Argentine President Christina Kirchner had also contracted cancer, and the CIA is known for trying to kill foreign heads of state, which the United States is unhappy with.

Venezuela Country Flag

Venezuela flag source:

Venezuela held the presidential election in October 2012. It was a deadly Hugo Chávez who won the election with 55.1% of the vote.

Chávez’s social programs and the redistribution of wealth in the country had a positive effect on the poorest part of the population. In the otherwise oil-rich country, 55.4% had lived below the poverty line in 1998. That figure dropped to 29.5% in 2011. The economic was 11.85% annually in 2004-07.

Hugo Chávez died of cancer on March 5, 2013. The presidential post was immediately taken over by his Vice President Nicolás Maduro and, in accordance with the country’s constitution, a new presidential election a month later, which Maduro won with 50.6% of the vote. His counterpart demanded immediate recounting of votes, which was finally rejected by the Supreme Court in August. The much narrower margin than at the elections a year and a half ago was attributed to Maduro in public being a relatively unspoken magazine, although he had been a member of parliament, minister and vice president for 13 years. Maduro is originally a bus driver since the trade unionist and in 2000 was elected to parliament.

The right wing responded to the electoral defeat by rioting: 15 health centers, 5 party headquarters and the Ombudsman’s office were razed. 9 were killed and 35 injured.

As one of its first official acts, Maduro deployed police and military to reduce the number of murders in the country. Venezuela was with 55 annual homicides per year. 100,000 residents in 2008 the third most dangerous country in the world after Honduras and Jamaica. Even in the ultra-violent country of the United States, the figure was 10 times lower. After 1 month, security forces were able to report primarily to Greater Caracas that the murder rate had been reduced by 55%. The reason Maduro focused on Greater Caracas (Miranda Province) was also that it was ruled by his main political opponent, Henrique Capriles, and that the assassination rate had grown especially in this province during Capriles’ tenure as governor.

In July 2013, the President decided to offer Edward Snowden humanitarian asylum in Venezuela. A month earlier, Snowden had exposed the United States’ global surveillance of Internet, telecommunications and espionage directly to a large number of world leaders.

In October, Maduro asked for permission to govern by decree for a year to fight corruption and financial sabotage.