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Statement - Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela - Ministry of People's Power for Education

The discussion about the Fifth Collective Agreement is developing in complete normalcy under the framework of Teacher Support Policies promoted by the Bolivarian government from the start.  These policies are evident in the nine salary increases for teachers over ten years of revolution.  The measures have allowed said salaries to be 5.5 times greater than what they were in 1999.

Fifty percent of the clauses of the collective contract have been approved at the negotiation table, which is proof of the willingness of the Ministry of People’s Power for Education to conclude this discussion in an agreeable way, within the real possibilities the State has to attend to the demands of this labor group.

Participating in this event are the Federation of Educators of Venezuela, FEV, the Federation of Venezuelan Teachers, FVM, and the National Syndicate of the United Teacher’s Force, SINAFUM. All of these unions have complied with the constitutional principle of legitimacy relating to the holding of first grade democratic elections in choosing their directors.

It is important to note that some opposition federations have not been legitimated and are unaware of what is happening in the collective bargaining table.

Furthermore, as part of the Teacher Support Policies, an Evaluation System of Teacher Performance is being implemented.  This will permit the awarding, before the end of 2009, of titles to over 90 thousand interns who are occupying otherwise vacant posts.

In efforts to increase the number of prepared teachers in order to guarantee higher quality education, approximately 30 thousand new educators have been incorporated.  41 percent of these are graduates of the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, Misión Sucre, while 59 percent come from other national universities.

It is important to clarify that qualification for a teaching post requires a professional degree in this field, and independent of the Higher Education Institution where coursework has been completed.  As such, education graduates of the National Educator Training Program of Misión Sucre, accredited by the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, UBV, enjoy the same professional university status as those who have graduated from other places of higher learning.

There are classes on Wednesday, March 25th.

As established in the 2008-2009 School Calendar, classes will be held in every school throughout the country, public as well as private, on Wednesday, March 25th.

Education is a constitutional right.

Caracas, March 23, 2009

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