After all the buzz about Venezuela’s music education program, “El Sistema,” here is something new and different: teachers from England are coming to Caracas to witness the successes of Venezuela’s free “Bolivarian” schools.
The BBC reports on the “Connecting Classrooms” initiative that provides an exchange program for instructors from Britain and Venezuela.
Here is what Steven Connors, a teacher from Hertfordshire, England, had to say about the Boliviarian schools:
Although they’re in tough parts of town, what we found was that the schools were serving their communities in the most amazing way. They were oases of calm and order where children are able to get that one life opportunity to get an education.
Another teacher, David Winters of London, said:
Where they are very strong is in the area of values, in instilling in their pupils the belief that when they grow up they must be better citizens and must not allow the situation which exists at the moment in Caracas to continue. They want the children to strive for a better future, and a better future will mean that the population in general is at less risk of crime and of criminality.
The Boliviarian school system now incorporates about 9 million Venezuelan students, from the elementary school level through university. It is part of the push to democratize access to education, and also an important part of government anti-poverty efforts. To read more, click here.