ODH-ULA has repeatedly denounced the illegality and precarious quality of education of the parallel university system created by the government since 2003.

(Mérida 06/12/2019).- On Tuesday, November 26, the students of the introductory course of Community Integrative Medicine (MIC, by its acronym in Spanish) of the University of Health Sciences (UCS), Mérida nucleus, held an assembly to expose several irregularities presented to journalists and the media in the institution. The Observatory of Human Rights of the University of Los Andes (ODH-ULA, by its acronym in Spanish) attended the call, where a professor also reported violations of her labor rights.

Alejandra Millán, student of the referred introductory course, denounced that at the beginning of it, in September, neither the professors nor the students were given the syllabus. Consequently, some teachers and students agreed on their own evaluation plans. «Now the university demands from Caracas that the professors apply to the students an evaluation with all the topics of each subject, with an evaluation percentage of 30%, which was not established at any time,» he said.

On the other hand, José Gregory Dávila, student and representative of the UCS to the Venezuelan Federation of University Students, informed that the Mérida nucleus of this house of studies is not registered with the Ministry of Popular Power for Health (MPPSALUD, by its acronym in Spanish), that the UCS is attached. As reported by Dávila, this situation is due to the fact that the board of directors of the nucleus, which in principle was part of the Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV), has not developed the policies established by the MPPSALUD for registration in the different states .

“The UCS Mérida nucleus is not recognized at the political level. Jehyson Guzmán, protector of people, did not know that we existed, nor do we have good relations with other universities, such as the Kléber Ramírez Territorial Polytechnic University (UPTM, by its acronym in Spanish)”, detailed Dávila.

Students attending the assembly also denounced that the conditions of the UCS infrastructure are not adequate. Among other failures, they do not have toilets.

Complaints not attended

Since January 2019, students have denounced before the health minister, Carlos Alvarado, the abuses and irregularities in the administrative and student admission processes committed by Yeny Sánchez, director of the Mérida nucleus of the UCS. Students ensure that there is a list of professors who do not work in the nucleus, as well as the entry of students without having completed the introductory course.

Given these irregularities, the students asked the Bolivarian State Health Academic Council (CABES, by its acronym in Spanish) to carry out an audit in the nucleus, but their request has not been answered.

Finally, Professor Iraida Rangel, head of the Division for Good Student Living at the UCS, denounced that she was removed from office on November 25 for denouncing the constant irregularities that occur in the university, such as the falsification of her signature on degree projects. Rangel states that he was notified of his removal only verbally by Pablo López, a lawyer at the UCS. The ODH-ULA has repeatedly denounced the deficiencies and illegalities presented by the parallel system of universities to which the UCS belongs, whose creation undermines university autonomy, enshrined in the National Constitution. Likewise, this university observatory has insisted on the responsibility that the Venezuelan State has in implementing policies that promote quality education, a duty that, as the complaints presented here show, is not only not fulfilled but also transgressed.

Students and professors of the University of Health Sciences of Mérida denounce irregularities

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