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Venezuela Educational System


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Venezuela Educational System

  1. 1. VENEZUELA ( Spanish pronunciation: [be.neˈswela] ), officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Spanish: Repúbl ica Bolivariana de Venezuela [reˈpu.βlika βoliβaˈ jana ðe ɾ βeneˈswela] , is a country ) on the northern coast of South America. Venezuela's territory covers around 916,445 square kilometres (353,841 sq mi) with an estimated population of approximately 29,100,000. RELIGION According to government estimates, 92% of the population is at least nominally Roman Catholic, and the remaining 8% are either irreligious, Protestant, or a member of another religion. The Venezuelan Evangelical Council estimates that Evangelical Protestants constitute 10% of the population. In Venezuela, a population of Santería followers has been growing since 2008. The rituals can cost 40,000 bolivars and include the slaughtering of a rooster, a chicken, or a goat. Santeria is a mixture of Christianity and Voodoo, and involves worshipping Christian saints and various Pentecostal-style possessions. ETHNIC GROUPS The people of Venezuela come from a variety of heritages. It is estimated that the majority of the population is of mestizo, or mixed, ethnic heritage. Nevertheless, in the 2011 census, which Venezuelans were asked to identify themselves according to their customs and ancestry, the term mestizo was excluded from the answers. The majority claimed to be Multiracial or White —49.9% and 42.2%, respectively. Practically half of the population claimed to be moreno, a term used throughout Ibero-America that in this case means "dark-skinned" or "brown-skinned", as opposed to having a lighter skin (this term connotes skin color or tone, rather than facial features or descent); another substantial part of the population claimed to be white. Ethnics minorities in Venezuela consists in groups that descend mainly from African or Amerindian; a 2.8% identified themselves as "Black" and a 0.7%
  2. 2. as afrodescendiente (Afro-descendant), 2.7% claimed to belong to Indigenous peoples and 1.1% answered "other races". Among indigenous people, 58% were Wayúu, 7% Warao, 5% Kariña, 4% Pemón, 3% Piaroa, 3% Jivi, 3% Añu, 3% Cumanagoto, 2%Yukpa, 2% Chaima and 1% Yanomami nation, the remaining 9% consists in other indigenous nations. According to an autosomal DNA genetic study conducted in 2008 by the University of Brasilia (UNB), the composition of Venezuela's population it's: 60.60% of European contribution, 23% of Amerindian contribution and 16,30% of African contribution. CURRENCY The bolívar fuerte (sign: Bs.F. or Bs.; plural:bolívares fuertes; ISO 4217 code: VEF) is the currency of Venezuela since 1 January 2008. It is subdivided into 100 céntimos and replaced the bolívar (sign: Bs.; plural: bolívares; ISO 4217code: VEB) at the rate of Bs.F. 1 = Bs. 1,000 because of inflation. LANGUAGES Although the country is mostly monolingual Venezuelan Spanish (a dialect of Castilian), many languages are spoken in Venezuela. In addition to Spanish, the Constitution recognizes more than thirty indigenous languages, Wayuu, Warao, pemón and many others for the official use of the Amerindian peoples, mostly with few speakers, less than 1% of the total population. Immigrants, in addition to Spanish, speak their own languages. Arabic is spoken by Lebanese and Syrian colonies on Isla de Margarita, Maracaibo, Punto Fijo, Puerto la Cruz, El Tigre, Maracay and Caracas. Portuguese is spoken, as well as the Portuguese community in Santa Elena de Uairén for much of the population due to its proximity to Brazil. The German community speaks their native language, while the Colonia Tovar speaks mostly Alemannic dialect of German called coloniero. English is the most widely used foreign language and demand, and is spoken by many professionals, academics and part of the upper and middle classes as a result of oil exploration by foreign companies, in addition to its acceptance as a lingua franca. Culturally, English is common in southern towns like El Callao, for the Anglophone West Indian influence evident in folk songs and calypso Venezuelan and French with English voices. Italian instruction is guaranteed by the presence of a constant number of schools and private institutions, because the Italian government considered mandatory language teaching at school level. Other languages spoken by large communities from drawing in the country are Chinese and Galician, among others.
  3. 3. POLITICS National Assembly of Venezuela building The Venezuelan president is elected by a vote, with direct and universal suffrage, and is both head of state and head of government. The term of office is six years, and (as of 15 February 2009) a president may be re-elected an unlimited number of times. The president appoints the vice president and decides the size and composition of the cabinet and makes appointments to it with the involvement of the legislature. The president can ask the legislature to reconsider portions of laws he finds objectionable, but a simple parliamentary majority can override these objections. The president may ask the National Assembly to pass an enabling act granting the ability to rule by decree in specified policy areas; this requires a two-thirds majority in the Assembly. Since 1959 six Venezuelan presidents have been granted such powers. The unicameral Venezuelan parliament is the Asamblea Nacional ("National Assembly"). The number of members is variable, each state and the Capital district elect three representatives plus the result of dividing the state population by 1.1% of the total population of the country. Three seats are reserved for representatives of Venezuela's indigenous peoples. For the 2011–2016 period the number of seats is 165. All deputies serve five-year terms. The voting age in Venezuela is 18 and older. Voting is not compulsory. The legal system of Venezuela belongs to the Continental Law tradition. The highest judicial body is the Supreme Tribunal of Justice orTribunal Supremo de Justicia, whose magistrates are elected by parliament for a single twelve-year term. The National Electoral Council(Consejo Nacional Electoral, or CNE) is in charge of electoral processes; it is formed by five main directors elected by the National Assembly. Supreme Court president Luisa Estela Morales said in December 2009 that Venezuela had moved away from "a rigid division of powers" toward a system characterized by "intense coordination" between the branches of government. Morales clarified that each power must be independent adding that "one thing is separation of powers and another one is division" Venezuela is divided into 23 states (estados), a capital district (distrito capital) corresponding to the city of Caracas, and the Federal Dependencies (Dependencias Federales, a special territory). Venezuela is further subdivided into 335 municipalities (municipios); these are subdivided into over one
  4. 4. thousand parishes (parroquias). The states are grouped into nine administrative regions (regiones administrativas), which were established in 1969 by presidential decree. The country can be further divided into ten geographical areas, some corresponding to climatic and bio geographical regions. In the north are the Venezuelan Andes and the Coro region, a mountainous tract in the northwest, holds several sierras and valleys. East of it are lowlands abutting Lake Maracaibo and the Gulf of Venezuela. The Central Range runs parallel to the coast and includes the hills surrounding Caracas; the Eastern Range, separated from the Central Range by the Gulf of Cariaco, covers all of Sucre and northern Monagas. The Insular Region includes all of Venezuela's island possessions: Nueva Esparta and the various Federal Dependencies. The Orinoco Delta, which forms a triangle covering Delta Amacuro, projects northeast into the Atlantic Ocean. EDUCATION IN VENEZUELA Primary Education In Venezuela, the first 9 years of education are compulsory and the school year extends from September through to June / July. 95% of citizens are literate and more than 92% of children attend primary school. Many attend preschool too, before enrolling for 6 primary grades through to age 11. There is little academic standardization beyond the maths curriculum. Middle Education After receiving their basic education certificate, pupils move on to middle school to complete their mandatory education comprising 3 more grades. Around age 14 / 15 while in 9th grade they must choose between following either humanities or sciences under the nation’s diversified education policy. Secondary Education Two years of non-compulsory secondary school may follow as the diversified education program follows. Upon completion, students receive the title of either Bachiller en Ciencias or Bachiller en Humanidades. Some schools include professional education too, in which case their certificate reads Técnico en Ciencias (Science Technician). Vocational Education A steadily growing industrial economy has demanded a re-think in the national education strategy, and an increasing number of young people continue their professional education at a range of technical schools. There they are presented with self-improvement opportunities ranging from short courses through to full-blown trade qualifications.
  5. 5. Tertiary Education There are almost 100 institutions of higher education in Venezuela with a million students enrolled at them for free. Technical institutes produce licenciate technicians after 3 years of training, while university students take 5 years to graduate. Thereafter masters and doctorate courses may be followed. The largest tertiary institution is the Central University of Venezuela that was founded in 1721 and is one of the oldest in the western hemisphere. The main campus illustrated here was declared a world heritage site in 2000. Education in Venezuela is regulated by the Venezuelan Ministry of Education. In 2010, Venezuela ranked 59th of 128 countries on UNESCO's Education for all Development Index.Nine years of education are compulsory. The school year extends from September to June–July.Under the social programs of the Bolivarian Revolution, a number of Bolivarian Missions focus on education, including Mission Robinson (primary education including literacy),Mission Ribas (secondary education) and Mission Sucre (higher education). HISTORY Education in colonial Venezuela was neglected compared to other parts of the Spanish Empire which were of greater economic interest. The first university, now the Central University of Venezuela, was established in 1721. Education at all levels was limited in both quality and quantity, and wealthy families sought education through private tutors, travel, and the study of works banned by the Empire. Examples include the independence leader Simón Bolívar (1783–1830) and his tutor Simón Rodríguez (1769– 1854), and the educator Andrés Bello (1781–1865). Rodríguez, who drew heavily on the educational theories of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, was described by Bolívar as the "Socrates of Caracas”. Free and compulsory education for ages 7 to 14 was established by decree on 27 June 1880, under President Antonio Guzmán Blanco, and was followed by the creation of the Ministry of Public Instruction in 1881, also under Guzmán Blanco. In 15 years from 1870, the number of primary schools quadrupled to nearly 2000 and the enrolment of children expanded ten-fold, to nearly 100,000. In the early twentieth century, education was substantially neglected under the dictator Juan Vicente Gómez, despite the explosion of oil wealth. A year after his death, only 35% of the school-age population was enrolled, and the national literacy rate was below 20%. In 1928 a student revolt, though swiftly put down, saw the birth of the Generation of 1928, which formed the core of the democracy movement of later years.
  6. 6. Many children under five attend a preschool. Children are required to attend school from the age of six. They attend primary school until they are eleven. They are then promoted to the second level of basic education, where they stay until they are 14 or 15. Public school students usually attend classes in shifts. Some go to school from early in the morning until about 1:30pm and others attend from early afternoon until about 6:00pm. All schoolchildren wear uniforms. Although education is mandatory for children, some poor children do not attend school because they must work to support their families. Venezuelan education starts at the preschool level, and can be roughly divided into Nursery (ages below 4) and Kindergarten (ages 4–6). Students in Nursery are usually referred to as "yellow shirts", after the color of uniform they must wear according to the Uniform Law, while students in Kindergarten are called "red shirts". Basic education comprises grades 1 through 6, and lacks a general governing programme outside of the Math curriculum. English is taught at a basic level throughout Basic education. Students are referred to as "white shirts". Upon completing Basic education, students are given a Basic Education Certificate. Middle education (grades 7-9) explores each one of the sciences as a subject and algebra. English education continues and schools may choose between giving Ethics or Catholic Religion. Students are referred to as "blue shirts". Venezuelans can not choose their classes. Once a student ends 9th grade, they enter Diversified education, so called because the student must choose between studying either humanities or the sciences for the next two years. This choice usually determines what majors they can opt for at the college level. Students are referred to as "beige shirts". Upon completing Diversified education (11th grade), students are given the title of Bachiller en Ciencias (literally, Bachelor of the Sciences) or Bachiller en Humanidades (literally, Bachelor of Humanities). Some schools may include professional education, and instead award the title of Técnico en Ciencias (literally, Technician of the Sciences) HIGHER EDUCATION The Central University of Venezuela, the largest University in the country. Venezuela has more than 90 institutions of higher education, with 860,000 students in 2002. Higher education remains free under the 1999 constitution and was receiving 35% of the education budget, even though it accounted for only 11% of the student population. More than 70% of university students come from the wealthiest quintile of the population. To address this problem, instead of improving primary and secondary education, the government established the Bolivarian University system in 2003, which
  7. 7. was designed to democratize access to "higher education" by offering heavily politicised study programmes to the public with only minimal entrance requirements. Autonomous public universities have had their operational budgets frozen by the state since 2004, and staff salaries frozen since 2008 despite inflation of 20-30% annually. Higher education institutions are traditionally divided into Technical Schools and Universities. Technical schools award the student with the tile of Técnico Superior Universitario (literally, University Higher Technician, to distinguish from Technicians of the Sciences) or Licenciado(literally, Licentiate) after completing a three-year programme. Universities award the student with the title of Ingeniero (literally, Engineer) after completing a five-year programme. Some higher education institutions may award Diplomados (literally, Diplom) but the time necessary to obtain one varies. Post-graduate education follows conventions of the United States (being named "Master's" and "Doctorate" after the programs there). In 2009 the government passed a law to establish a national standardised university entrance examination system, replacing public universities' internal entrance examinations. Some universities have rejected the new system as it creates difficulties for planning. The system has still not been formally implemented by the State. The previous line is a good example of the Venezuelan Government's official line toward the autonomous universities where democratic elections have failed to give the state party any significant victories. LITERACY Of Venezuelans aged 15 and older, 95.2% can read and write, one of the highest literacy rates in the region. The literacy rate in 2007 was estimated to be 95.4% for males and 94.9% for females. In 2007 primary education enrolment was around 93%.
  8. 8. SCHOOL FOR BEAUTY QUEENS Venezuela has produced many successful beauty queens, winning both Miss Universe and Miss World five times - and Venezuelans see nothing wrong in girls as young as four attending beauty schools to set them on the road to stardom. Visiting Gisselle Reyes’s beauty school in the suburbs of Caracas can be an intimidating experience. The 1960s style villa has been turned into a hot house for beauty queens, teaching everything from how to sashay down the catwalk, to the correct way to hold a wine glass. Pupils from age four to 24 are immaculately turned out, the older girls in five-inch (12cm) high-heels. Venezuela has had extraordinary success in international beauty contests and clearly has a formula for choosing contestants that appeal to judging panels the world over. Beauty contests are treated in Venezuela much as sporting competitions are elsewhere. Many young Venezuelan girls are groomed from an early age to compete in pageants. Of the 160 girls who take classes at Gisselle's, the majority are between four and 11.Parents often encourage their daughters knowing that if they can succeed as beauty queens; their future as celebrities and public figures is assured. Successful alumni of Giselle’s are household names in Venezuela, like Dayana Mendoza who became Miss Universe 2008. Girls who make it to the national competition need to spend hours in the gym and carefully watch what they eat. Dental work and plastic surgery could also be necessary for success. In Venezuela, there is almost no criticism of the beauty pageant phenomenon. When, in 1972, a feminist group from the country's Central University interrupted the Miss Venezuela broadcast, it was the first and only demonstration of its kind. President Hugo Chavez has spoken out against the culture of plastic surgery in Venezuela, calling breast enlargements a "monstrous thing". But he has stopped short of blaming beauty pageants for the popularity of cosmetic procedures. Acceptance of the contests is partly a result of the country's machista culture. People are expected to adhere to traditional gender roles - women gentle and delicate, men strong and brave. But it's also because appearance is incredibly important here, not just for women, but for everyone.
  10. 10. ANNA ROSE U. REFRAN SEED3183