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La Educación
Número: (116) III
Año: 1993


This article examines the development of education in Venezuela during the 34 years of the present democratic era. What makes the article particularly interesting is that Venezuela has one of the longest democratic traditions in the region. Although Venezuela has allocated more resources to education, its educational system has had very poor results. This case illustrates the fact that the educational system cannot be expected to develop automatically upon the institution of democratic government and that it is not enough to invest large amounts of money in the educational sector. Three central theories are suggested to explain the Venezuelan educational system’s failure to consolidate the democracy that began in 1958: a) the use of the educational system as a tool for political clientelism; b) neglect of the basic levels of education to which the majority of the population have access; and c) the schools’ lack of autonomy. The accomplishments and features of the educational system at various levels and in various areas are examined, and challenges that have to be met to enable the educational system to be instrumental in consolidating democracy are suggested.