Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Do you want to help Venezuela?

One of Venezuela's main problems is the average level of education level for the average Venezuelan.
As I wrote some months ago, we no longer take part in international evaluation schemes. Still, the last international evaluation tests in which Venezuela took part, back in 1998, showed: Venezuelas' pupils were lagging behind the rest of Latin Americans in mathematics (and that by far) and they are just "average for Latin America standards" in reading and comprehension. That means we are bottom of the bottom. I believe things have only worsened since then.

If we are ever going to make it out of underdevelopment, we need to change that. There are lots of things to be done to improve education but one of the critical ones is to bring transparency to Venezuela's system and determine where we are compared to the rest of the world and what we can learn from the rest. A group of Venezuelan students and professionals are asking now the Venezuelan government to join the Programme for International Student Assessment of the OECD, PISA. Imagine many thousands of Venezuelan pupils taking part in the same examinations Colombians and Germans, Canadians and Chileans, Dutch and US Americans take. Imagine we can examine what a random selection of Venezuelan pupils can do compared to the rest of the world. Imagine that is done on a regular basis. Imagine we start to examine in a very transparent way what policies we can take over from other countries to improve results. Imagine we start to make ministers accountable for real results.

Please, go HERE, take a look at the petition and distribute it among your friends, specially if they are in Venezuela. Tell them to send the petition to newspapers and parents' organizations, to political parties and NGOs, and above all, to ask the Venezuelan government to join in. Venezuela is one of the few countries in South America that still are NOT in PISA.

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