“Teacher, a kid from the barrio just got kidnapped!
How do you tell kids that they should not talk to strangers?” Eduardo Espinoza, a teacher from the barrio replied.
We are here with several nice young women from the barrio, 23 de Enero, who themselves the pioneers of new education, a name that says a lot about their ambition at a professional level. These future educators assist the Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV) to study at the Misión Sucre. However, the objective of the program is not only to give access to college education to sectors traditionally excluded, but also to put academic studies in touch with their communities. This task has been entitled: « municipalization of education. »
The courses taught at universities now have a new social vision, which is to teach students so they can later apply their knowledge in their communities. Established on these principles, Misión Sucre is a social program that provides citizens with awareness, knowledge and the construction of citizenship.
In addition to transforming college education, the pioneers of new education, also wish to open a new path to transform the Venezuelan education system. Gabriela, one of the “pioneers” briefly explained the need to make this change: “Previous governments excluded us from the Venezuelan education system. In my case, I tried getting into college, but they immediately shut the doors in my face”.
With the deterioration of public education, universities became practically reserved to those that had access to private education, which generally is very expensive. To fix this injustice and allow people like Gabriela to go to college, the government created Misión Sucre (to honor Bolívar’s second in command during the War of Independence). At the same time, Bolivarian schools are being developed with the aim to fix the problems of the first levels of public education.
Within the framework of the mission, the following universities were created to attend the needs of the growing population of students: the Yaracuy National Experimental University; the Caribbean Maritime University; the National Polytechnic Experimental University of the National Armed Forces; the Sur del Lago National Experimental University; and the Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV).
It important to highlight that these “pioneers” are not alone, 457,653 students are currently attending Misión Sucre. Last year, the State provided 76,450 scholarships, i.e., one out of six students has benefited from this government-sponsored educational program. Two years ago, 60 municipalities benefited from colleges located mainly in urban communities, today, the municipalization of college education has reached 272 of the 335 municipalities across the country, 80% of the national territory. Residents from these municipalities, who are currently enrolled in Misión Sucre, engage in activities related to their culture, needs, problems, values, demands and potential, in such a way that they are able to apply their knowledge in their communities.