School in Venezuela
In Venezuela, children start school when they are 6 years old. There is compulsory schooling up to the 9th grade. Education in state schools is free. Primary school lasts from 1st to 6th grade. All of them then go to secondary school together for another three years.
Only then do the paths separate for those who continue to go to school: If you choose the general branch, you go to school for another two years. If you choose the technical (more job-related) branch, it will take another year to finish. Both degrees entitle you to attend university. So you can go to university after 11th grade!
However, 6 percent of all children do not go to school. Sometimes the parents are so poor that they cannot even afford school books. There are also children who work or who live on the street and then don’t go to school.
The school uniform
In Venezuela, students must wear a school uniform. This also applies to kindergarten. The younger children usually wear a yellow shirt and the preschoolers a red one. The pants are blue. In elementary school, the students wear a white shirt and dark blue trousers or skirts. In secondary school you change the top to light blue (7th to 9th grade) and from the 10th grade to beige. White stockings and black shoes are part of the school uniform for everyone. What would you have to wear if you went to school in Venezuela?
The grades in Venezuela are also different from ours. In elementary school there are also different grades than from 7th grade. In elementary school you get a CE for a one plus. It is the abbreviation of Consolidado Excelente. A C is very good, a DM is still good (it is the abbreviation for Debe mejorar, which means: can get better). EP means En proceso and is a deficiency, so a 5 for us. From the 7th grade onwards, numbers between 1 and 20 are graded. You need at least a 10 to pass, and 20 is the top grade.
School day and school year
School starts between 7 and 8 a.m. Students have three hours of lessons. Then there is a break, followed by another three hours and the lunch break. There are also three more lessons in the afternoon. School ends in the afternoon around 3 or 4 p.m. The school year begins in late September or early October and lasts until mid-July of the next year.
Are there poor children in Venezuela?
In Venezuela, a country located in South America according to aceinland, 33 percent of the people lived in poverty in 2015, 10 percent even in extreme poverty. Since then, the proportion of the poor has probably risen. Of course, this also creates major problems for the children of these poor families. There is not enough to eat or there is no money for clothes or for exercise books and pens.
In addition, Venezuela has a problem with supplies. So it affects all families. You have to queue to get milk, flour or rice. Some foods are sometimes not even available to buy. In 2014, scanners were even installed at the supermarket checkouts, where fingerprints are now being scanned. This is how you want to ensure that nobody buys more goods than they are entitled to. The amounts of milk, rice, coffee, toothpaste, chicken and detergent that every Venezuelan can buy have been limited. Sometimes there isn’t even electricity or running water.
Poverty and poor supply create an insecure and politically not very stable situation. There are always protests and demonstrations. Sometimes the government cracks down on it. There is also a lot of crime. Assaults or even murders are not uncommon.
Child labor is also a problem. 9 percent of boys and 6 percent of girls (8 percent of all children) between the ages of five and 14 work. Unlike in Colombia, for example, most of the children in Venezuela do not work in agriculture, but in the field of services. They are then, for example, street vendors, collect rubbish or help out in restaurants or at a market stall. Girls are often domestic servants or are forced into prostitution. There are also children who beg, pickpockets or are used in the drug trade as couriers, i.e. as deliverers of drugs.
Many of these children not only work on the streets, they also live there. So they no longer have a home, either because they ran away or because their parents are no longer alive and no one cares about them. On the street they are then exposed to violence, drugs and also arbitrariness by adults. They are even persecuted or even tortured by police officers. So they are always on the lookout. Many are also drug addicts and ill. Most people sniff glue because it’s the cheapest drug they can get.