The Community-Military Brigades (Bricomiles) created by the Nicolás Maduro regime at the end of June to repair and renovate the country’s public schools and health centers raise fears that soldiers from the brigades may be involved in educational issues. Members of the Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB), the ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV) and civilians make up the brigades that are first responsible for assessing the needs of the country’s schools and health centers and then carrying out the revisions appropriate.
“A teacher cannot go to a barracks to clean it. So, it is wrong for a soldier to go and set up a school, when the foundation of a school has logics and characteristics […] than a military officer […] will hardly understand,” said Carlos Trapani, a lawyer and president of the Venezuelan Community Learning Center (Cecodap). Dialogo August 29. “The annexation of the new brigades to the armed forces arouses suspicion.”
These are not tasks that fall to the FANB, Venezuelan civil association Control Ciudadano said in a statement. In addition, “the FANB is synonymous with drug trafficking and corruption”, Venezuelan newspaper La Vanguardia reported.
Political activism and allegiance affect the country’s public education system since Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan platform Alianza National Todos for Education (All for the National Education Alliance) said. There is evidence of partisan involvement within the education system, as demonstrated by the forced display of portraits and sculptures of Chávez and Maduro, according to the group.
On its Facebook page, the Argentinian group El Cipayowhich tracks and condemns social injustices, published a video in which we see a soldier teaching children in a school slogans such as: “Chávez lives, the fatherland continues”.
“It’s not a viable option to include military personnel in the classroom. A member of the service does not have the educational tools for this. The service member enters into the logic of [martial] order; this logic does not work in school,” Trapani said.
“We are still receiving orders from the Ministry via WhatsApp groups [the Peoples Ministry of Education] teach history as the regime wants,” a public school teacher in the state of Nueva Esparta told the independent Venezuelan platform. Calle TV.
Basic schooling increased from 7.70 to 6.49 million students between 2018 and 2021. School absenteeism is linked to the socio-economic factors that characterize the deep humanitarian crisis that the country is going through, indicates on its website the Andrés Bello Catholic University (UCAB) of Caracas.
The total number of active teachers in primary education fell from 669,000 to 502,000 over the same period, according to UCAB. It is estimated that teacher desertion was around 98,300 – of whom 68,000 emigrated from the country due to the regime’s policies.
Faced with this scenario, tutoring outside of schools has become an alternative. Nearly 30% of school-aged children, ages 6-16, receive an alternative form of education, Peru newspaper says Management reported.
“You can create the best school infrastructure, but there are not enough teachers to meet the demand of children,” Trapani said. “There are unmotivated teachers who are deeply affected by […] meager salaries and military interference.
Since 1997, Venezuela has not received any international assessment to measure and compare student learning in the areas of reading, writing, math and science, according to the magazine. Debates from the Venezuelan Business School, Graduate Institute of Management.
“Children and adolescents have the right to an education that allows them to fully exploit their creative potential, which is one of the goals of education,” Trapani said. “Venezuela must implement systematic and periodic tests at national and international levels to measure the effectiveness of teaching processes.”
“Indoctrination has become one of the regime’s strategies… above all, to train beings whose model of thought revolves around the interests of the socialist ideology imposed on the country. […]who has been responsible for destroying the opportunities of hundreds of citizens,” Calle TV added.