Education in Venezuela

I had mentioned the article in a previous post, but I just want to put it here again as I think it is an eye-popper.

Oppenheimer on Latin American's state of denial on education (thanks to Hans and Ow).

A subscription-only article from The Economist of 9th May 2002 shows some facts about education in Latin America. They talk, among other things, about an evaluation test carried out by UNESCO in different Latin American countries in 1998. Those countries were the following:

  • Cuba
  • Chile
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Mexico
  • Paraguay
  • Venezuela
  • Ecuador
  • Peru
  • Bolivia
  • Honduras
  • Dominican Republic.

Venezuela was very close to the average in literacy in that UNESCO test...average for Latin American standards, that is, which is already very bad if we consider how Latin American participants score in the PISA evaluation scheme. Cuba scored by far the best, followed by Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.

Venezuela was the absolute worst in maths. It was really bad. I mean BAD. Cuban children were again the best by far, followed by Argentines , Brazilians, Chileans, Colombians, Mexicans, Paraguayans, Bolivians, Dominicans, Hondurans, Peruvians and Ecuadorans. Venezuelan children came last after Ecuadorans and there was some distance between them.

Since Chávez is in power Venezuela has pulled out of open evaluation schemes of education We know the situation has worsened, in spite of all the certificates of educations and in spite of Chavismo's claim of having eliminated illiteracy. It seems that Chávez has not even learnt from one of the good things Cubans still have: an education system that was already the best in Latin America before Castro arrived in power (at least for non-graduate studies).

Has any any politician in Venezuela given some thoughts to this problem? I mean: is there any politician who has taken the time to ponder about solutions that go beyond sputtering the words "more money for education", "more schools"? In fact: is there any Venezuelan who cares? Where?