The majority is coming for … your kids?

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Standing in the way of 8 million +

On the heels of a massive landslide, what does the ruling majority want? Well, none other than do away with private education as we know it.

The government published a decree apparently abolishing Parent Associations at all schools – public and private. It replaces them with an Educational Council, made up of administrators, teachers, parents, students, workers, members of the community, and what not. (What about bloggers??)

Now, I don’t know the details of this thing, nor whether or not this story has legs. For all I know, it could be all bark and no bite. But there seems to be quite a bit of noise around this. What have you heard? Share in the Comments section.

1 COMMENT

  1. Would be interesting to see if this is a serious initiative to create a more ideological information that is going to be follow through or some bait for the most fearful group of the opposition and scared more people to leave the country. Its funny that a government that is not competent enough to provide basic school infrastructure, like chairs, t or teach how to read and write and basic arithmetic, now wants to teach socialism in school, when its proven that it can’t transmit even the most basic knowledge.

    • Well said, it sounds similar to “patriotic education” in China, except that it will be an utter failure.

      The Chinese communist party carefully manages all such programs, they do POLL TESTING in universities and small schools to see how various messages will play out and what sort of response they garner. This is on top of a generally very careful and results based primary education system. Since Chavez can’t get the first part right (even teach children basic math and science) I find the idea these “education” programs will create fervent cadres highly dubious.

      Correctly running such an indoctrination program would require Chavez to account for “consumer feedback” as in China, so there’s simply no way it will be a success. Some bureaucrat will write down the message they think children should hear, and that will be the message transmitted, regardless of how it will be received. Most students will probably think any new socialist education materials are a total joke and use them to make paper airplanes. As Marx said, history repeats itself, first as a tragedy (Chinese patriotic education) than as a farce (Chavez’ imitation of it).

      • I think this type of announcements and the reactions by many people to it are the classic red herring with regards to education in Venezuela. The most outrageous thing about education in Venezuela is how bad public education is, than for the allegedly socialist revolution happening in this country, your social class determines the possibility of getting a good education.
        Venezuelan public education system cannot teach basic Spanish or Math, much less ideology. With regards to private Schools, most of them are located in middle or upper class neighborhoods with Consejos Comunales, controlled by the opposition, with some token Chavista. The Consejos Comunales are the instances that are going to be supposedly used in the New Structures, so I don’t see the girls in Academia Merici having a Socialism seminar in the near future.

  2. I don’t want to underestimate the reverse-Midas proven ability of this government but in the past this kind of thing on such delicate matters are always one of those distractions or better known as “trapos rojos”

  3. Reading over the thing, the one thing that stands out is the fact that the director -or the school itself-, has only one vote (as specified in the article), which means it counts just as much as the workers or the security guards. I wonder if this isn’t a change on the balance of power within these institutions: remember how they did that in the Universities, making the UCV, for example, integrate workers, employees and student votes into the suffrage. This weighed heavily on the internal power structures of the UCV, since professors where seen as “antipatriotic snobs” and workers “the real people”.
    I just wonder how this would affect schools, and if it would lead to clashes as in the UCV. Because democracy is fine and all that, but if we’re having a vote to decide if the class should go study Darwin at the Zológico del Este or the McDonalds in the Sambil, I really don’t see why the professor shouldn’t have more of a say in this.

    • Very important point here Vicente, “Muchacho no es gente grande ni sabe de peligro” and education should not, under ANY circumstances, be a democracy. And that does not only apply to the teacher-student relationship, it should include parents too. I mean, I am all for closer parental oversight in school, but limited to school interactions, conditions, resource-allocation and such, NEVER for the study courses. And don’t get me started on putting the groundskeeper and the cleaning staff on the council. They should have a voice on the groundskeeping policies and cleaning resource allocation. No less. No more.

  4. Sounds like the independent organizations of the parents will be replaced by a governmental organization. It will be harder to complain about education with more administrators and workers sprinked in.

  5. Here is a concise but substantive summary of what the decree establishes, which I received from a a legal analyst and will post in spanish:
    Resolución de la Conformación del Consejo Educativo – Gaceta Oficial 40029

    -Prevé que el Consejo Educativo queda compuesto por 10 comités que deberán presentar trimestralmente informes ante la Asamblea Escolar. Dichos comités son:

    1. Comité de Madres, Padres, Representantes y Responsables
    2. Comité Académico
    3. Comité de Seguridad y Defensa Integral
    4. Comité de Comunicación e Información
    5. Comité de Ambiente, Salud Integral y Alimentación
    6. Comité de Educación Física y Deportes
    7. Comité de Cultura
    8. Comité de Infraestructura y Hábitat Escolar
    9. Consejo Estudiantil
    10. Comité de Contraloría Social

    -Dispone que, asimismo, podrán crearse los comités que se consideren pertinentes, siempre y cuando estén conformados por un número impar de integrantes.

    -De forma preeminente se observa la presencia, en todos los comités, de los voceros comunitarios o de las organizaciones comunitarias del “poder popular” y en casos como el Comité de Ambiente, Salud Integral y Alimentación y el Comité de Educación y Deportes, se deja una cláusula abierta para los integrantes de dicho comité pues la mencionada disposición concluye con un “entre otros” (es decir, que podrían haber otros integrantes).

    -La Resolución propicia una marcada intervención del Ejecutivo Nacional en las instituciones educativas, a través de las “organizaciones comunitarias”, “consejos comunales”, etc., pues dichas organizaciones forman parte de todas las instancias de los Comités Educativos.

    -Esto constituye, sin duda, un nuevo zarpazo a la autonomía de la educación en Venezuela…

  6. More apartheid by database-list-membership. In order identify loyal chavistas (deserving a free apartment) one only needs to search membership in multiple councils (soviets). Chavistas with membership in more councils will be counted as more loyal. You think this is a joke? Think again. It works. Really.

  7. Yo estuve ayer en la reunion del colegio de mi hija. Por lo que nos informo la Directora, no es algo por lo cual haya que “halarse los pelos” o decidir home schooling de los hijos. Hubo buena participacion, a los Comites donde participan los padres (7) se postulo mas gente que la que se necesitaba. De acuerdo con las competencias de esas personas, se les ubicara en el Comite mas conveniente (y eduarte, si hay Comites donde no participan las Organizaciones Comunales).

    Quiero destacar dos cosas que dijo la Directora: 1. Esto está en la Ley que se sanciono hace unos años (creo que dijo 2009, pero no estoy seguro), por lo cual tanto el Colegio como ella estan preparados para esto (no hay sorpresas). 2. Palabras mas, palabras menos, “El Colegio se va a servir de las Organizaciones Comunales que se integren, no al reves”. Creo que esto ultimo es lo que deberia exigir todo padre/representante a los planteles.

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