Special feature Venezuela: Amazonian schooling
The school of Boca de Nichare is more or less the only one in the region. It has a capacity of approximately fifty children. Children from other communities come to live in the village just to have access to education. They don't really have a home; these children sleep where a bed is offered to them and eat anywhere they are welcome. Others travel 2 to 3 hours each way via canoe to attend classes. The school was built four years ago thanks to a a government-led programme to imporve Venezuelan Indian communities. The schools have the obligation to follow the same syllabus as all state schools part of the Bolivarian State of Venezuela. Two teachers assure the teaching here at the Bocha de Nichare school, for which the government remunerates them. They speak Makiritarean and have come from the city to teach. Teaching the kids Spanish, a language ignored by the children's parents, is their priority. To improve the conditions, the state contributed desks, excercise book and text books. Like all state schoolchildren, the kids have the right to free balanced meals all week. However this inititiative lasted a short while only as government funding has been sporadic. No follow-up is made either. Meanwhile the kids that can, go home for lunch, a bland meal of proteins, mainly of cassava root.
A community of sailors