Being a student in 2016 Vs 2017 in Venezuela – what has changed?
At the present time, the situation in Venezuela is turbulent to say the least. The economic crisis and political uncertainty have only served to worsen the situation. Policies implemented by the current Venezuelan government have plunged the citizens in further misery and hardship compared to 2016. There’s not much difference between the situation in Venezuela between 2016 and 2017 although conditions have worsened.
The education system is very close to reaching a grinding halt, and many students fear that they will have to drop out due to the adverse economic situation. That being said, we have outlined below the main differences in university study between 2016 and 2017.
Quality of Education
The quality of education 2017 has definitely worsened in comparison with 2016. The government seem to have no idea of the significance of quality education and research in higher institutions. Students also experience substantial shortages in terms of learning resources and even electricity required to run the university. The buildings themselves are falling into disrepair due to constant neglect and lack of maintenance.
Security on Campuses
The security situation on campuses has also gone from bad to worse. Students have to face the theft of property by gangs, and even loss of life. Student protests have increased and schedules are regularly interrupted by protests and individuals who are intent on causing problems at universities. Many students are in fear of their lives and have dropped out of their studies as a result.
The rights of freedom of speech and freedom to embark on peaceful protests have also be further repressed in 2017, with the government going to such extent as applying lethal violence against non-violent student protesters. This has led to the deaths of several innocent students who tried to protest against the government’s woeful administration.
The food shortage in Venezuela has gone from bad in 2016 to worse. Just as much as the teachers and other citizens of the country, students are also on the receiving end of the food shortage in Venezuela. Teachers have to wait for hours in long queues in order to get food, which often leads to eventual cancelation of lectures. Students are also subject to the same fate and most cannot attend lectures due to extreme conditions of poverty.
The Venezuelan Bolivar
With some economic analysts forecasting the inflation rates to reach 2,000% by the end of 2017, the currency is currently on a downward slide and trades for as high as 8000 bolivars to the dollar from 3,000 bolivars in 2016. This could be an advantage for international students or those earning their income in dollars, in the sense that for just a few dollars they get a lot of bolivars.
In 2017, the Venezuelan government increased the minimum wage by 50%. The increase in minimum wage is good news for students who work as well as study, at least they would have a better income to support their education. Although the 50% increase is still not much, it allows students more income to better meet their everyday living costs while they study for their university qualification.