By Bianile Rivas.
Los Llanos University -or Unellez by its acronym in Spanish- in Guanare, a local city in Central Venezuela is free, like a lot of colleges and universities in the crisis-stricken, but an oil-rich nation.
The humanitarian crisis that is engulfing Venezuela, however, has also impacted the life quality from the students: sardines and rice are all they get. Sometimes, not even that.
Venezuela, with around 30 million inhabitants, has about 2.8 million university students, which majority go to school for free where recently, they also had a v balanced, or at least, decent cafeteria menu.
Nicolas Maduro said in October of last year that education in Venezuela is public, free and of quality. But not anymore. No wonder professionals are migrating after they graduate, according to the Organization of American States.
Gone are the days not too long ago of fruit, beef or greens, Juan Quevedo, a representative of the opposition group in the Unellez told to El Pitazo, but nowadays, rice and sardines are all they are offering. And that’s only when they get enough cooking gas. The service was out a whole week.
Also, groups of students affiliated with the Maduro regime sometimes deny entry into the cafeteria to other students, Quevedo denounced.
School administrator Franklin Nieves said sardines are the only protein available, acknowledged the interruption in cafeteria service on a cooking gas deficit and stated that he has not received any beef since December.
The Unellez-Guanare serves 400 meals in two shifts. Private catering companies are no longer serving the school for lack of funds.
Public education seems to be going the way of gasoline, electricity and tap water, free but scarce and of declining quality.