Socialism in Action: Venezuelan Kids Fainting From Hunger in School
You know, this is a major embarrassment for the self-proclaimed Socialist government
Hundreds of children filed into their school courtyard to hear a local Catholic bishop lead prayers for their education.
“We pray for the youths who are on the streets and can’t come to school,” said Bishop Jorge Quintero, addressing the Augusto D’Aubeterre Lyceum school in the beach town of Boca de Uchire on a steamy morning in October. “There are a lot of them.”
By the end of the 15-minute ceremony, five children had fainted and two of them were whisked away in an ambulance.
The faintings at the primary school have become a regular occurrence because so many students come to class without eating breakfast, or dinner the night before. In other schools, children want to know if there is any food before they decide whether to go at all.
“You can’t educate skeletal and hungry people,” said Maira Marín, a teacher and union leader in Boca de Uchire.
What’s causing this?
Venezuela’s devastating six-year economic crisis is hollowing out the school system — once the pride of the oil-rich nation and, for decades, an engine that made the country one of the most upwardly mobile in the region. These schools in the past provided children even in remote areas with a solid shot at the country’s best universities, which in turn opened doors to top American schools and a place among Venezuela’s elite.
Hunger is just one of the many problems chipping away at them now. Millions of Venezuelans have fled the country in recent years, depleting the ranks of students and teachers alike. Many of the educators who remain have been driven from the profession, their wages made nearly worthless by years of relentless hyperinflation. In some places, barely 100 students show up at schools that once taught thousands.
What could be at the root?
It is a major embarrassment for the self-proclaimed Socialist government, which has long preached social inclusion. The situation is in sharp contrast to countries that Venezuelan leaders have held up as role models — Cuba and Russia — both of which have managed to shelter the primary education system from the worst effects of a comparable downturn in the 1990s.
See? It’s a major embarrassment! Because Cuba and Russia have made it work or something! Hey, is anyone actually talking about the quality of the educational systems of those nations? Bueller?
Some Venezuelan children are staying home because many schools have stopped providing meals or because their parents can no longer afford uniforms, school utensils or bus fares. Others have joined parents in one of the world’s biggest displacement crises: About four million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2015, according to the United Nations.
The article does delve into the some of the major economic problems in Venezuela, but, fails to make the link that this is what you get with a Modern Socialist government. That this started with Hugo Chavez, mentioned in the article, and has continued with Madura. That the policies are unsustainable.
Maracaibo’s biggest school no longer has any functioning bathrooms. It was designed for 3,000 students; only 100 now show up.
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