Monday, 13 December 2010

How to transform Venezuela into a developed nation

Venezuela needs to take a lot of steps to get on the path of development: attain real democracy, introduce open debates and much more.

Education will always have to come among the first steps. My proposal for the deputies of the alternative forces at the Asamblea Nacional: demand from the ministry of education to let Venezuela take part in the PISA programme for academic evaluation of public schools. So far the ministry of education refuses to allow transparency into the evaluation process. It prefers to tell fairy tales.

Take a look at the latest results for reading and comprehension for some countries for the PISA programme. All OECD countries and many more are currently taking part in PISA. On the Y axis you have the score (the higher, the better). The yellow rows are just a selection from Western Europe. Finland is, as usual, the best. The average EU pupils does a bit better than the Spanish pupil. The countries in blue are Latin American countries. The countries in green are other American countries. Dark red is the country with the worst results for reading and comprehension. For more information on the PISA programme, visit OECD's site.

Chile is really on the path of becoming a developed nation within our lifetime. When will Venezuela follow suit? How would Venezuelan pupils score the first time they take part in the PISA programme?

Ps. My guess is Venezuela would score now close to Kyrgystan if not below it. That would be embarrasing, but we need to find out. Else, we won't ever improve the situation. What is the Venezuelan self-styled "revolutionary" government afraid of?

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