A Venezuelan High School graduate in Mérida leaves his chair empty at the graduation ceremony and writes a letter that “thinned the batter” for many


This is the last week of classes in basic education institutions, in all high schools and colleges there is a party, because many young people culminate a stage in their academic life that, in theory, prepares them to start university and thus begin adulthood.

Jesús Quintero // Correspondent LaPatilla.com

With many deficiencies and difficulties, the bachelors of the Republic received their diplomas, in the midst of long periods of classes without teachers of the subjects, because a teaching professional prefers to invest his time in giving private classes or simply in another work activity that allows him to take bread home every day.

Diego García Calderón is a young man from Merida who took the initiative to leave the chair empty at his graduation ceremony as a protest action. At just 17 years old, he commented that it was not easy to make this decision. “I wanted to raise my voice against each and every one of the irregularities that are experienced and to demand a decent education, to value and respect all teachers, both active and retired, as they deserve.”

“There were many years of academic work that I went through to reach this achievement (…) It is sad to see how my native country falls into neglect day by day, how we, the new high school graduates of the Republic, have half a future.”

And he continues his reflection: “Most of the young people who graduate today as high school graduates have as the only option to emigrate, because a future in Venezuela is not foreseeable, we do not have quality of life to develop and continue with our professional training, we have to dedicate ourselves to work and put aside our dreams.”

He emphasized that he declares himself in a situation of rebellion and peaceful protest, as established by the Constitution of Venezuela, in the face of the irregularities that are experienced every day and the unfortunate situation that teachers are going through due to disastrous salaries, both in the public and private sectors.

He also mentioned the student benefits, which over the years have been disappearing, and that future generations will most likely never know about, such as preferential student fares and dining rooms with quality food services.

“Young people are also affected by the economic and social reality that the country is going through, the scarcity of fuel, the precariousness of public services, when even power goes out two or more times a day.”

Finally, Diego referred to the weak educational system, where young people are not really prepared to face the university, while government entities waste resources on concerts, and teachers continue to demand decent salaries. He asserted that his fight will not end and he will continue to raise his voice in protest as many times as necessary.