Saturday, May 10, 2008

Venezuela's new school curriculum

NPR (audio), Global Voices

Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, is currently attempting to ramrod a new school curriculum into place, one that, unsurprisingly, is focused primarily on creating "young patriots," by which he means citizens who support him and his social policies.

The program, opposed by many Venezuelan parents as an attempt to indoctrinate their children, glorifies Latin American socialist revolutionaries, teaches that capitalism is a tool to subjugate the common people, and blames the United States for Venezuela's ills. Private schools would also be required to follow this curriculum under the plan.

This is an outrage against individual liberty and academic freedom. The place of an education system, particularly one that is publicly funded, should be to teach students factual information, not to feed them propaganda designed to make them loyal to the current ruler and to stir up hatred against that ruler's perceived enemies (in this case, the United States). Of course, it has been plain for some time now that Chavez has no interest in actually maintaining civil liberties in his country; quite the opposite, he aims to become a socialist dictator. He's already well on his way, nationalizing entire industries left and right, most recently the cement industry. He is unfit to lead, and one can only hope that his people will realize that before it is too late.

No comments: