Maduro asks to search for students who left education in 19 months of pandemic

The Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, asked his vice president, Mervin Maldonado, this Sunday to go "to search" of students who left the education system during the 19 months in which there have been no face-to-face classes – who will return tomorrow – due to the pandemic.

"I have given precise instructions to the Vice President of Government for social and territorial socialism, Mervin Maldonado, for the entire social cabinet (…), to go in search of those boys who dropped out of the school system in these 19 months"Maduro said in an act broadcast by the state channel Venezolana de Televisión (VTV).

The face-to-face classes were suspended in March 2020 due to the pandemic and will return tomorrow amid protests by teachers due to the low salaries and the poor conditions that, according to what they denounce, schools have.

For this reason, Maduro asked Maldonado to go find these young people to "invite them" and "bring them back to the classroom".

For this, he explained, a plan is underway to deliver uniforms and school supplies to minors so that, in this way, they have "all the conditions to guarantee education".

"Maldonado, I hold you accountable to a country for the search and loving incorporation of young people who have dropped out of the school system to advance again above 90% (in) the level of school enrollment", he stressed.

Finally, he asked "to the entire social team" of the government that does "this effort that crowns with total success the resumption of classes in person".

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Regarding tomorrow’s return to the classrooms, Maduro made a call "to all the Venezuelan teachers", as well as students and their families, to take all biosecurity measures, "keeping his mask" and "permanently cleaning".

For that return, the ruler recalled that, "from tomorrow", they will start vaccinating children over 12 years old, something they will do "in all high schools".

Also, they will "complete 100% vaccination of education sector personnel", since, according to the latest data that he said he had, 85% of education workers had received their doses against covid-19.

He commented that, "if necessary (…) at any given time suspend classes" in a school for seven days before an outbreak, they will, but the head of state ruled out, from the outset, a model like the one he has implemented in the economy of seven days of relaxation followed by another seven of quarantine.

"We have not had classes since March of last year (…) 19 months without face-to-face classes. We have had to apply teleclasses, classes through internet pages, videoconferences (and) we have put into operation a system of attention and assistance to the family", he concluded.

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