There are many reasons why Venezuela’s opposition has been protesting for the past two months. The obvious ones are the country’s dramatic crime wave and sharpened scarcity of goods, but one of the least reported issues has to do with the government’s efforts to meddle in the country’s schools.
Venezuela has an extensive network of public schools, one that existed long before Hugo Chávez came to power. Due to the spotty quality of the education these schools impart, there is also a large web of private schools that has always operated with relative freedom, although under close government supervision. This peaceful coexistence, however, was shattered in 2012 when the government passed ”Resolución 058.” The text, which emanated from the Ministry of Education, changed the entire governance structure for both public and private schools. Recent steps to fully implement it have set off alarm bells in the entire opposition education community.