This Wednesday, the Special Commission of Justice and Peace of the National Assembly, through the Sub-Commission of Citizen Promotion for the Reconciliation, carried out a webinar that had as its objective a central debate on Human Rights and education in Venezuela.
The meeting was moderated by Deputy Luis Emilio Rondón, President of the Sub-Commission for Citizen Promotion for the Reconciliation, who welcomed the participants and explained that since the beginning of the commission last year, they have been committed to working so that the transition is carried out with solid bases, with a strong legislative element and its own operational framework, and referred to education as a fundamental part of the guarantee of human rights and to the flight of students from primary school and also of teachers from the diverse components from the educational system, which has intensified in recent years and which is now compounded by the terrible effects of the pandemic since March of this year and the politicization of the situation.
“In this era of knowledge the progress of society leads us to focus on one of the most important elements which has to do with education, and which will allow a society to progress on firm bases supported by work and in an efficient way that allows these processes to materialize”.
The first to participate was the specialist in education, Luis Bravo, who explained that in Venezuela we have lived through a time of paradox or a major contradiction. Understanding that on the one hand there is a constitution approved in 1999, which speaks of inclusion, citizen empowerment, human rights and even leads citizens to be part of the media, while the reality speaks of an exclusionary sectarianism, the cancellation of fundamental human rights and an impoverishment of the population, which is what our country has experienced since 1999.
He also referred to the report of the UN Mission, detailing that it is extremely important because it is a verification of facts that have been denounced for a long time by the world of education and the political world, in addition to pointing out responsibilities. At the same time, he took the opportunity to recall that the Plan País team is preparing the necessary actions to be taken when the transition is achieved in Venezuela in order to strengthen the education system.
Deputy Bolivia Suárez, President of the National Assembly’s Education Sub-Committee, began her speech by referring to the classic definition of human rights, to show how this concept, together with education, goes hand in hand. “Its function is to promote the condition of the State so that it can offer everyone an adequate quality of life, nothing more distant from the Venezuelan reality.”
She also spoke about how incalculable is the serious generational damage caused by the regime, to the point that the declaration of a complex humanitarian emergency in the education sector made two years ago by the National Assembly, has already lost its validity.
The deputy explained during her participation, how the digital and pedagogical gap between those who can only access public and worn out education and those who can pay for private education is deepening.
She could not fail to mention the irresponsible and pedagogical treatment that during the pandemic, the regime of Nicolás Maduro has given to the educational sector, endangering the health of educational personnel, parents, children and society in general by turning schools into concentration camps.
“We have the commitment to work together with the entire education sector, to advance the work we have been carrying out hand in hand with President Juan Guaidó and the Plan País team. We know that we will achieve this with a government of national emergency.”
For her part, Ms. Nancy Hernández, the national representative of the educational communities, gave an account of some of the most alarming figures of the educational reality in Venezuela, pointing out that education in and above all basic education must be free, inclusive, plural and accessible and these principles are not being fulfilled. Even more so, it has been difficult in the process of distance education during the pandemic. “It is important to know what rights are being denied to us, not only as students, but as teachers and parents (…) Education is not free. It is not enough that there is no tuition, there must also be guaranteed transportation, uniform, books, and the necessary food that is appropriate for the children and adolescents who live on the campus and that corresponds to their nutritional needs in the middle of their education.”
Gustavo Padrón, union leader of the educational sector, spoke about the precarious conditions to which children and educators are submitted, detailing that in more than 75% of the educational establishments in Venezuela, water does not come out of the taps and in more than 60% of the classrooms there is no light or visibility to work in.
“The teacher cannot live in peace because he does not have social, hospital and medical security. A teacher earns less than $3 and his funeral service insurance is 200 Bs (US 0.0004), the school infrastructure is on the floor (rundown)” while explaining the need to uncover the reality of human rights to make it viral and to be able to improve it in a national emergency government as proposed by President (E) Juan Guaidó.
Congresswoman Delsa Solórzano, President of the Special Commission for Justice and Peace, was in charge of giving the closing speech of the event prior to the round of questions. She explained that education is a human right and it is supposed to be one with which we are born. These are rights that are not debatable, nor arguable, and as a consequence the State has the duty to guarantee them.
The Representative pointed out that the educational problems in Venezuela have been going on for a long time, but that the last two decades have represented an worsening in the education crisis, adding that the complex humanitarian crisis has a significant influence on student desertion, having the testimony of mothers who cannot send their children to school because they do not have food.
“The popular sectors do not have internet, telephones, computers, how do their children expect to have educational equality? These things should be dealt by a serious State and as long as the usurpation in power is maintained there is no real possibility of solving this crisis and that is why we are using all our time to achieve democracy in our country and thus improve the educational system in which there’s difference in quality between those who can access private education and public education”.
We are committed to a future in Venezuela, but for every citizen to have a future, he or she must have a good education.