Archive for April 16th, 2008

Errors, Lies and Manipulations on education in the times of Chavez and his brother

April 16, 2008

What an interview with Chavez’ brother Adan! (Don’t miss the picture and the pointed finger in the article, it tells you the whole story in some sense). It sounds like something out of The Onion or Saturday Night Life. You have to love the “errors”, “lies” and “excuses” of the revolution. Some highlights:

Q: How do you justify the numbers saying that the number of enrolled students went down by 2.5 million from 2006?

A.Ch. I don’t know where you got that number that it decreased by 2.5 million.

Q: In 05-06 there are 10.2 million students and in 2007 it went down to 7.6 million.

A.Ch. That is an error, in 05-06, without missions; there were 7.4 million students. The years after that there were 7.6 million.

Q: So, there is a contradiction with the total of 10.2 million?

A.Ch. It is an error. If we have to correct it we will. (Why don’t they?)

Q: Ten years ago the registration reached in first grade 657,448 kids, in one decade that number ahs not been reached. Moreover, there are 232 thousand kids between 6 and 7 who are excluded.

A.Ch. We have increased coverage for that age. We are attacking the social causes, without looking for justifications (??). We don’t hide that half the kids in middle level education are out of the system. But before only 23 out of one hundred were in. The deterioration is such that you can’t fix it in 5 or ten years.

(My comment: if registration doubled on a relative scale, how come the total absolute number has never been topped? Moreover, since they did nothing for five years, it is no surprise it “deteriorated”, but ten years ago, Physics and Mathematics was taught at 90% of public high schools, today they have no teachers in over half n these areas and the students are passed automatically, so don’t give me that BS)

Q: The literacy target has been questioned. You said there was 4% illiteracy in the country that means there are 930,000 illiterate people in the country.

A.Ch. When a country is declared free of illiteracy it does not mean it has 0%; Unesco recognizes that a country with 4% literacy is free of illiteracy.

Q: In 2005 you said you had taught 1.5 million people to read, how come now there are 900 thousand illiterate persons in Venezuela.

A. Ch. There was an error (Another one!) When the mission was started we announced that there were two million. We taught 1.5 million to read. Let us assume (Why?) that we made an error in calculation at that time.

Q: You always said it was 1.5 million On the other hand Unesco never declared Venezuela a country free of illiteracy, the letter only recognizes the effort.

A. Ch. There is a letter published by the General Secretary of Unesco, where some achievement is recognized. Unesco recognizes a country with less than 4% illiteracy to be free of it. We have less than 4%, because we have not stopped. We don’t hide anything…I reiterate Unesco recognizes that a country with 4% illiteracy is free of it.
There you have it, he implicitly recognizes the old lie that Unesco never “certified” Venezuela as free of illiteracy, which was mentioned by Chavez and by PSUV’s candidate to Metropolitan Mayor Aristobulo Isturiz. This was “certified” in the blogging world by Alek and Sydney and in the academic world by Francisco Rodriguez.

But the striking thins is how Adan Chavez lies throughout the interview, attributes things to errors in the past, rather than the outright robolutionary exaggerations they were. He takes the numbers too lightly and really never gives a straight answer. He also fails to recognize that things at the high school level are even worse than when Chavez got to power.

It is a truly a farcical interview. The attitude seems to be: The revolution is always right, even when it is wrong. Except that Mr. Chavez knows there are few achievements in the educational front because the revolution had no educational plan ten years ago and today’s plan is simply ideological not educational.

It is just lies, errors and manipulations. What else is new?