|Turing the Spanish colonial period and the rule
of the caudillos in Venezuela, education was available only to wealthy
children. The sons of rich families were educated in small church-run schools
or were privately tutored in their homes. In the 1870s, President Guzmán
Blanco started a public education system, but a universal primary education
system was not fully established until 1960.
Free education is a right in Venezuela's constitution.
Until the recent economic crisis, the Venezuelan government invested more
than 15% of its revenue in the education system. In the 1990s, the government
cut back on education spending and the public education system has declined.
|Many children under five attend a preschool. Children
are required to attend school starting at 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 1:30 and others attend from early afternoon
until about 6:00. 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.
government distributes literacy training materials across the country,
and encourages Venezuelans who can read and write to teach others who do
not have these skills.
|There are two types of secondary schools: diversified
and specialized. In diversified secondary schools, students study general
science and humanities. Specialized secondary schools offer a more technical
education. Secondary education is not compulsory.
There are both private and public universities
and technical training institutes in Venezuela. One of the most famous
universities is the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas. The campus
of this university is so large that it is called University City. Other
well-known universities include the University of the Andes, the University
of Zulia and the Andrés Bello Catholic University. The government
provides scholarships and loans, and also pays for some Venezuelan students
to study abroad, if they promise to return after their education is completed.
of being given a letter grade or a percentage, Venezuelan students are
often marked out of twenty. On this scale, ten is a passing mark. Some
students are also marked out of nine.