Teachers who don’t flee Venezuela get side gigs to survive

Oct 25, 2019 by

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Daixy Aguero holds her chin up when students wander by and are surprised to find their teacher selling makeup at a weekend Caracas street market. Aguero says it’s the only way she can make ends meet on a teacher’s pay in Venezuela.

Some 40 percent of Venezuela’s teachers have left their schools in the last three years, according to a union representing educators. They’re escaping low pay and crumbling classrooms.

Others like Aguero have stayed behind on the front line of the country in crisis.

They keep teaching out of a passion that first drew them to education, while taking side gigs to feed their families. Aguero tells her kindergarten students who find her hawking lipstick, eyeliner and face cream that she’s not ashamed.

“I tell them you have to work,” she said. “And you have to study.”

Thousands of Venezuelan teachers vented their frustration in a two-day strike ending Wednesday to demand better working conditions such as fair wages and urgent repairs to crumbling schools. Teachers in 17 of Venezuela’s 23 states walked out of class, gathering by the hundreds at some protests, while organizers said others stayed in the classroom, fearing they would be punished or fired.

Source: Teachers who don’t flee Venezuela get side gigs to survive | WTOP

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