Jun 4, 2018
CARACAS, Venezuela — An unruly nine-year-old bolted from his classroom, prompting a volunteer teacher to chase him down the hall. He would normally be hauled straight to Romina Sciaca’s office. But the guidance counsellor was gone — part of a wave of staffers to flee Aquiles Nazoa Elementary School.
This collapsing socialist state is suffering one of the most dramatic outflows of human talent in modern history, with Aquiles Nazoa offering a glimpse into what happens when a nation begins to empty out. Vast gaps in Venezuela’s labour market are causing a breakdown in daily life, and robbing this nation of its future. The exodus is broad and deep — an outflow of doctors, engineers, oil workers, bus drivers and electricians.
So far this year, 48,000 teachers — or 12 per cent of all staff at elementary and high schools nationwide — have quit, according to Se Educa, an educational group. The vast majority, according to the group, have joined a stampede of Venezuelans leaving the country to escape food lines and empty grocery store shelves.