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5,000 Warao schoolchildren in Venezuela left out of schools: Tribal leader says

A Warao leader says the kids have been excluded from the educational system in Delta Amacuro state. Fifteen indigenous schools disappeared in the Antonio Diaz municipality over the last five years. For the indigenous representatives, the deterioration of the education of the Warao children is progressive.

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By Melquiades Avila.

The Warao representative of the intercultural bilingual school of Musimurina, Ofelio Reinoso, denounced on Tuesday, February 16, the interruption of academic activities affecting at least 5,000 Warao children in the state of Delta Amacuro.

You must read: Warao native Venezuelans are dying of hunger: chieftains

Nicolás Maduro promised in-person school classes are to resume in March, but Warao leaders say 15 schools serving the community have disappeared over the last five years. In some cases, literally: encroaching bush and river levels have swallowed the little country schools whole, as the school the Manuel Renauld parish Antonio Diaz municipality where some 600 children used to receive classes. The call of the wild may not be in the curriculum here, but insufficient upkeep sure can do the trick for disappearing a school in the bush.

“Not only does our community not have a school, in all the communities, but classes for Warao children have also disappeared,” Warao elder Reinoso said.

According to a group of Warao representatives and leaders, 15 schools have disappeared in the Manuel Renauld parish alone. Many of them as a result of the Warao exodus to other borders.

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On February 10, teacher Ysor Calderon denounced that education has deepened in the last five years. The movements and displacements of the Warao families from their communities are due to the precarious situation of the indigenous villages in Delta Amacuro state.

“The worrying thing is that there is no response, and the claim becomes repetitive; the educational authorities do not respond to this situation of omission by the Venezuelan State,” Calderon said then.

Reinoso requested the intervention of the Ministry of Education to watch over the education of the Warao children.

For the indigenous leaders, the deterioration of the education of the Warao children is getting worse. Even schools with 60 years of history get weakened by the precarious situation of the teachers.

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