Report: Nearly 1.7 Million Young Venezuelans Out of School, Work

A new study shows that only 42 percent of 7.6 million Venezuelans, between the ages of 15 and 29, are enrolled in some sort of learning facility. Approximately 900,000 adolescents, between 15 and 19 years of age, are not in school and have not finished their secondary level school studies.

The data was presented on Thursday by the Andrés Bello Catholic University (IIES-UCAB) Institute of Economic and Social Investigations in their 2013 National Youth Survey.

Antiza Freitez, coordinator of the project, notes the level of inequality in education in Venezuela. “There is a huge gap in terms of access to education. There are up to 30 points difference between the richest and poorest quintile in terms of coverage,” she said. This means the young people of the highest quintile have at least 6 more years of schooling than the lowest group. In total, 1.3 million young adults in Venezuela, between the ages of 20 and 29, do not complete a bachelor’s degree.

According to Freitez, the data shows that even though the first years of the current government saw an increase in school enrollment, this has not resulted in better better preparation for students in Venezuela. Likewise, she stressed that the impact of the missions to better social conditions for young people have been “very low.”

Research also shows that teenage mothers continue to be a area of concern. Within the 15 to 19 age group, 15 percent of women are mothers. In the 20 to 24 age group, that figure increases to 45 percent.

In addition, the study also shows that 50 percent of 17-year-olds abandon school, translating to 1.7 million young people who neither work nor attend school.

The study also revealed that 80 percent of young people have an interest in politics. Of this total, 28 percent declared themselves Chavistas, 24 percent identified with the opposition, and 24 percent were unaffiliated. The report indicates these political affiliations are characterized by socioeconomic status. All in all, 78 percent of participants stated they prefer democracy as their system of government.

Source: El Universal.

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