Venezuelan Archbishop says students should not be made into “political zombies”

.- Archbishop Roberto Luckert of Coro expressed is dismay this week over news that the Venezuelan Ministry of Education plans to politicize education and remove religion classes from school curricula, and he called on officials not, “to make our students into political zombies.”

Education Minister Aristobulo Isturiz told reporters recently that the “State should instruct citizens according to its political theory, according to its idea of the Republic” and he announced the implementation of a decree removing religious instruction from schools.

Speaking on Union Radio, Archbishop Luckert said the politicization of schools is “against the constitution which clearly states that education in our country is to be free and respectful of all opinions and ideas and should not impose one point of view and thus turn our kids into a bunch of political zombies.”

“The proposals put forth by different officials, including Aristobulo Isturiz, to politicize education and turn our teachers into agents of indoctrination of a particular political model are constitutionally unacceptable and in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the archbishop said.

“This is somewhat Manichean and is doing much harm to Venezuela and pitting one group against another. Add to all this the exacerbated militarization of young people, preparing them for violence and teaching them to use weapons in a supposed asymmetric war.  All of this is creating a belligerent climate in Venezuela-something we have never seen before,” Archbishop Luckert stated.

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