- Title: Violent protests keeping Venezuelan children away from school
- Date: 25th May 2017
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA (RECENT) (REUTERS) SCHOOL CHILD, JOSE MORALES, PUTTING ON TAIKWONDO BELT TO PRACTICE IN HIS SPARE TIME CLOSE-UP OF MORALES TYING BELT VARIOUS OF MORALES PRACTISING TAIKWONDO IN STREET OUTSIDE HOUSE CROWDS OF PROTESTERS ON HIGHWAY WITH TEARGAS CANISTERS FLYING AND CLOUDS OF GAS IN THE AIR PROTESTERS ON HIGHWAY AMID TEAR GAS MOTHER OF SCHOOL CHILD, DIVA RODRIGUEZ, GETTING DRINK OUT OF FRIDGE AND TALKING TO SON, JOSE MORALES (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MOTHER OF SCHOOL CHILD (JOSE MORALES), DIVA RODRIGUEZ, SAYING: "He had a routine which included his classes, complementary classes, sports classes and this has all been disrupted, even the sports activities have been suspended for one reason or another and we have changed the timings so that they can continue their planning, because life goes on." CLOSE-UP OF MORALES'S PENCIL ON PAPER AS HE STUDIES AT HOME VARIOUS OF MORALES STUDYING AT KITCHEN TABLE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENT, JOSE MORALES, SAYING: "As there are people protesting, the teacher doesn't come, so it takes us a long time to learn our subjects and that makes it all very difficult, almost everything." PARENTS WALKING YOUNG CHILDREN TO SCHOOL CHILDREN KISSING CHILDREN AT SCHOOL GATE BOY SITTING ON FLOOR DRAWING CLOSE-UP OF BOY DRAWING CLASS IN PROGRESS, TEACHER WRITING ON BOARD CLOSE-UP OF CHILD'S NOTEBOOK TEACHER IN FRONT OF THE CLASS, WRITING ON BOARD EMPTY CHAIR HEAD TEACHER, MARBELLA SATURNO, SITTING IN OFFICE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) HEAD TEACHER, MARBELLA SATURNO, SAYING: "Sometimes they close the metro when there are protests and so it is hard for (the children) to get to school, and sometimes when everyone from this zone goes out, it is very empty, and a lot of the time they have to walk home, there is not enough public transport and so they arrive home very late. It is a very tense situation and there is a lot of concern among the representatives and the people that have to go to school." NATIONAL GUARD VEHICLE LAUNCHING WATER CANON AT PROTESTERS PROTESTERS THROWING OBJECTS AT NATIONAL GUARD WITH SHIELDS VARIOUS OF CHILDREN PLAYING WITH A BALL DURING PHYSICAL EDUCATION (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) HEAD TEACHER, MARBELLA SATURNO, SAYING: "The best thing is for the children to come to their classes and to be able to socialise with their peers, and not to be following what is going on, but the children know what is going on and they are also scared for their parents' safety, the children are conscious of them, children nowadays are different, they know about and follow everything going on, and a lot of the time discuss the situation." PROTESTERS AMID TEAR GAS NATIONAL GUARD LAUNCHING TEAR GAS AT PROTESTERS IN FRONT OF POLICE VEHICLE BLOCKING THE STREET YOUNG CHILDREN WALKING TO SCHOOL GIRL SITTING ON A BENCH WITH WOMAN, MOTHER KISSES HER HEAD CLOSE-UP OF SCHOOL BADGE ON GIRL'S UNIFORM READING (IN SPANISH): "THE LIBERATOR"/ CLOSE-UP OF YOUNG GIRL (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MOTHER OF SCHOOL CHILDREN, MAYERLIN PARRA, SAYING: "In my case, I went five weeks without bringing (my daughters) to school because of all the protests that have been happening. I live in the Chacaito zone and there is always a greater concentration (of protesters) there, there are always hubs of violence, all of that kind of thing. I wouldn't have a problem bringing them in the morning but I wouldn't be able to pick them up so I did not bring them for five weeks but now I said, 'My daughters cannot fall behind in their studies because of all of this'." GENERAL VIEW OF STUDENTS AND PARENTS AT SCHOOL GATE
- Embargoed: 8th June 2017 16:07
- Keywords: Nicolas Maduro violence protests school crisis Venezuela
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0016IC7UX3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: With Venezuelan anti-government protesters blocking avenues and highways around the country several times a week, parents increasingly spend their evenings asking the same question - do my kids have school tomorrow?
Rallies against President Nicolas Maduro that routinely fill streets with tear gas leave parents unsure if they will be able to get their children to school or pick them up in the afternoon.
Teachers often skip work for fear they will be unable to get home if demonstrators clutter highways with burning debris in clashes with police. But private schools are prohibited by the Education Ministry from cancelling class, even when violent demonstrations endanger the security of children.
The result is that Venezuelan parents dedicate an increasing amount time juggling contingency plans and struggling to figure out if their kids will miss yet another day of school.
Primary school student, Jose Morales, studies at home and practices taekwondo in his spare time, but says it takes him and his peers a long time to learn when the teachers do not come to school.
Mother of two, Mayerlin Parra, said she went five weeks without bringing her daughters to school due to the violence in the streets, but decided she could no longer let them fall behind in their studies.
Opposition demonstrators have for six weeks clashed with security forces in near-daily protests that have killed more than 40 people as part of demands that Maduro hold elections and respect the autonomy of the opposition-led Congress.
Demonstrators often gather on the principal highways and avenues of the country's major cities, creating traffic chaos in the early afternoon at times disrupting public transportation well into the evening.
Parents often have to rush out of work to pick their children up early after a phone call from nervous school administrators or swirling rumours on social media.
Head teacher, Marbella Saturno, said children are increasingly conscious of the ongoing situation and concerned for their parents' safety, whilst they often discuss the situation too.
Ruling Socialist Party officials say the the protests are part of a violent effort to overthrow Maduro that undermine years of effort to expand education services to the poor.
Maduro has accused private schools of cancelling class as a way of supporting the opposition demonstrations, and has threatened to fine some of them.
School administrators as a result are reluctant to announce school closures even when clashes with security forces are taking place near schools.
Two Caracas Catholic schools in separate incidents in April had to evacuate children after clouds of tear gas from nearby demonstrations flooded classrooms. The schools declined comment.
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