Scorched schools

Let's hope it lasts

Henrique Capriles Radonski has made education a key element of both his work as Governor of Miranda and his upcoming campaign for President. During an opening of a new school in the town of Cupira, he said:

“Every new school that we build or recover, multiply the chances of progress for our children and grand-children… …education is a passport to the future and a shield aganist poverty.”

Education in Venezuela faces huge problems: students dropping out, teachers protesting over salaries, lack of infrastructure, and the push for ideology, among others. But for some time now, the school system is now facing bigger threats: crime and violence.

In the state of Carabobo, at least 15 schools are vandalized monthly. One school in the town of Yagua has been robbed four times in a single month. Vandals take advantage of relaxed security. Violence in classrooms and playgrounds is the new normal.

It can be said that is just a symptom of the crisis we’re suffering. But the fact is the worsening of this problem along with the lack of actions by the authorities, represent a scorched earth policy against current and future generations of Venezuelans.

12 thoughts on “Scorched schools

  1. This is so sad. The Yagua case is close to my heart. My dad learnt to read and count under a mango tree in that town, in the forties, shortly afterwards they built a school and he could spend a couple of years there, but they only had primary. My dad worked in the fields to save for a second-hand bike and managed to continue his studies by biking to Guacara. He later became university professor.

    Now those thieves want to take us back to Gómez times, with the over-population and the extra weapons on top of what we had back then. Those criminals are the worst.


  2. HCR view of EDUCATION as a main element in his program has gained my unconditional support. It is very sad to see how schools are vandalized every single day but then again this is the consecuence of lack of education of our people. No more time can be wasted. We have to start right now to develop a decent country and it can only be done through school.


  3. Hey, I know primaria and bachillerato are VERY important, but please, don’t forget the universities! :)


  4. It’s not a scorched earth policy; it’s rather an “educación-con-que-se-come-eso?” policy. as has been observed of late and applicable at both at personal and policy levels, “You think education is expensive; try ignorance”.


  5. First item on the agenda: Venezuelan culture of violence and theft, eradication thereof. Has metastasized, from the 3 biggest cities in the country to virtually all inhabited parts of same in 2000-2011. Directly correlated and with a causation link with corruption, racketeering and outright violent crime by government agents, and thus a major cause of legal uncertainty. An archetypal symptom of a failed state.

    Second, Third, Fourth, and all other items on the agenda: education, retaining or attracting educated professionals and investment, infrastructure, economic growth, eradication of poverty, health care, development of national resources, tourism… Very difficult or impossible to address unless the First item is taken care in an effective manner.


  6. Who needs schools when you can be a hip-hop revolutionary! “we were told that normally those attending the hip-hop schools learnt hip-hop skills for four days per week and had one day per week of political discussion. However, in some schools those attending had decided they preferred the ratio the other way round.

    Once participants have ‘graduated’ from the course, they are encouraged to become tutors to the next batch of attendees.” (


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