"Government is not against recall referendum if opposition follows the Constitution"

In Washington DC, Minister of Education Aristobulo Isturiz spoke of the Venezuelan education programs to achieve social balance.

By Embassy of Venezuela Press
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(Washington DC, August 28, 2003. - Embassy of Venezuela Press). - The Minister of Education, Culture and Sports, Aristóbulo Istúriz, said today that the venezuelan government is not against the revocatory referendum if the opposition follows the legal requirements stated Constitution of Venezuela.

Istúriz –who was vice-president of the Constituent National Assembly that rewrote the Constitution and was also Mayor of Caracas– clarified to the journalists that the signatures collected by the opposition last December are not valid because the Constitution clearly that this process must be made when being fulfilled half of the mandate of the elected officer, in this case, the president Hugo Chávez.

Minister Istúriz denied that the alfabetizador plan Mission Robinson, which until now has alphabetized to more of a million Venezuelans, has to do with the “cubanization” of the education, since has been made see in some media of Venezuela and the United States. This Cuban method of alphabetization has gained five prizes UNESCO "and UNESCO is not of the Ché Guevara, nor is communist", he said.

Venezuela is negotiatin with Mexico to make an agreement to apply the method of Telesecundaria; with Colombia the border education; with Bolivia the indigenous education "and this does not reflect by the press, because it does not have anything to do with the policy, as it is the case of Cuba", he added.

Minister Istúriz was invited to Washington by the Organization of American States to take part in the Permanent Council, in the commemoration of the centenary of the birth of the Venezuelan Luis Beltrán Prieto Figueroa, last Wednesday. In the afternoon Istúriz met the president of the Inter-American Development Bank, Enrique Iglesias, and the directory of the I.A.D.B., where he maintained a balance meeting on the programs financed by this institution. These programs are the related to the maternal and prescholastic education, and the fortification of the Basic education. With national resources and of the I.A.D.B. Venezuela built 101 new schools in Guasdualito.

In his meeting with representatives of the World Bank, minister Istúriz presented the project of scholastic text translation to the indigenous languages. This organization finances 10 research programs on the education in Venezuela and they are almost culminated. Among them, the education of indigenous towns, the rural education, and the profile of the teacher who needs the country.

SEARCHING THE SOCIAL BALANCE

Minister Istúriz explained in detail the programs and projects that the Venezuelam government is carries out to obtain social balance.

The minister talked about the Mission Robinson, a plan to alphabetize more than a million Venezuelans with the help of 150 thousand volunteers. This first phase of the program will end in September, and the second phase is already being prepared to give the Venezuelans the possibility of accesing formal education. At the moment a 1,5 million Venezuelans are illiterate and more than 2 million did not finish the basic education.

Istúriz remembered that in Venezuela, in spite of the immense resources generated by the oil industry, the rate of schooling average was of 55 % for 1998, but that "stops the year 2002 that rate of schooling was placed in 65 % , after a concerted effort and of the increase to 6% of the Gross Internal Product of the budgetary resources dedicated to the education", he said.

For the minister, he is urgent to take care of the education in the first stage of the life, reason why the bolivarian political project that is developed in Venezuela assumed like flag the project "Simoncito" to take care of the children in the maternal phase (of zero to 3 years) and in the prescholastic phase (of 3 to 6 years).

In this project already it was surpassed million children taken care of and 2 thousand classrooms have been constructed to incorporate 60 thousand more to the prestudent, to extend nonconventional strategies for 40 thousand more, and thus to arrive at the 100 thousand children taken care of the beginning of scholastic year 2003-2004.

Also he explained that the Bolivarian government has contributed resources to extend the cover of the homes and multihomes, and with the participation of the ministry of Health and Social Development, more than 350 thousand children will be taken care.

In addition he said that after the end of the year will be 3,500 Bolivarianas Schools. He explained the operation and philosophy of these schools under concept of an integral, on time complete education, and like space of the communitarian task, that promotes the integral and harmonic development.

The minister Istúriz informed in addition that the government assumed the responsibility to reopen the technical schools, closed many years ago, and destined more than 130 billion bolivars to modernize the equipment and factories, besides to rehabilitate the physical plant and to update the teachers.

"These are the programs and the actions developed by the Bolivarian Government with the purpose of trying the social balance, rights and to guarantee the principle of equality of opportunities to the most vulnerable people", stressed.

The minister explained that the government is conscious that obtaining an education of quality it is necessary to transform the Venezuelan education, and for that reason, "we are advancing in three strategic lines. These are the modernization and curricular update; the rehabilitation, construction and dowry of the scholastic physical plant, and the permanent formation of the teachers ".

For the curricular modernization the present educative model is being discussed to work in the collective construction of one that responds to the necessities of the people, and in addition guarantee the access to the rest of the world.

The government of president Chávez have rehabilitated 6 thousand schools, and have been constructed more than 650 new schools.

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