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Venezuelan students struggle to learn amid food shortages and violence
Venezuelan children have missed an average of 40 percent of class time, a parent group estimates, as a third of teachers skip work on any given day to wait in food lines.
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In this May 31, 2016 photo, Maria Arias, center, shares a moment with classmates as they wait for their teacher to arrive for class at their public high school in Caracas, Venezuela. Arias lives in a violent neighborhood and has grown accustomed to her teachers not showing up for class. It's a trap, the 14 year-old complained. You risk your life to be here and end up waiting around for hours doing nothing. But you have to keep coming because it's the only way out. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

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In this May 31, 2016 photo, a student keeps bills tucked under his watch as he gambles on a card game with classmates in the patio of his public high school in Caracas, Venezuela. The patio was used for gym class until the teacher was killed in crossfire this spring while working a second job as a barber, one of several teachers slain in the city this year. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
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In this May 31, 2016 photo, boys gamble on a card game in the patio of their public high school in Caracas, Venezuela. As many as 40 percent of teachers skip class on any given day to wait in food lines, according to the Venezuela Teacher's Federation. The school director has asked nearby supermarkets to let teachers cut in line, and she's disciplined staff for selling students passing grades in exchange for scarce goods like milk and flour. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
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In this June 1, 2016 photo, students sit on the stairs where trash fills one of the landings at their public high school in Caracas, Venezuela. The school looks less like a protected place of education than a downtown bus terminal; grimy, smelling of urine, and full of people waiting for teachers they're only half-sure will come. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

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In this May 31, 2016 photo, a student uses a government provided laptop as she and a classmate wait in the hallway for a class to start at their public high school in Caracas, Venezuela. The late President Hugo Chavez made education a centerpiece of his socialist revolution, using the riches from a historic boom in the price of oil to train teachers and distribute free laptops, but in just a few years, all of that progress has been undone. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

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In this June 1, 2016 photo, a student sits on a teacher's desk inside what was once a classroom, where doors lay on the floor as well as urine, at a public high school in Caracas, Venezuela. The social and economic chaos stalking Venezuela is ripping apart its once-enviable school system, robbing poor students of what would otherwise be their best chance to escape lives fast becoming unbearable. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

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In this June 1, 2016 photo, Maria Arias' backpack and a book featuring Venezuela's independence hero Simon Bolivar sit on her bed before she leaves for school in Caracas, Venezuela. Arias' mother knows her children's grades have fallen this year, but isn't sure how much, because the school has not had supplies to print up report cards. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

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In this May 31, 2016 photo, a student's uniform shirt is covered with messages that were hand written by classmates, an end-of-the-year school ritual, at a public high school in Caracas, Venezuela. A quarter of Venezuelan children missed some school this year because of hunger, according to the local nonprofit Foundation Bengoa. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

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In this May 31, 2016 photo, a pile of 30,000 unopened textbooks block the auditorium stage, a favorite make-out spot for students at a public high school in Caracas, Venezuela. The government delivered the books at the start of the year, but teachers decided they were too full of pro-socialist propaganda to use. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

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In this June 1, 2016 photo, Maria Arias, wearing her high school uniform, calls out to her dog from the bottom floor of her three-story home in a shantytown before leaving for school in Caracas, Venezuela. Arias sees robberies, looting and lynch mobs on her way to school. One day, she held her breath on the bus as a man jabbed a gun into the neck of the woman sitting next to her and stole a wedding ring. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

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In this June 1, 2016 photo, Maria Arias, center, works with classmates during a math class at her public high school in Caracas, Venezuela. Arias has been held at gunpoint once in school, by a boy so baby-faced she assumed he was a classmate of her 15-year-old sister. Instead, he leveled a gun at her sister's ribs and demanded the girls' flip phones. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

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In this June 1, 2016 photo, a skeleton hangs inside a classroom used to teach evolution, locked up to keep teaching material from getting stolen, at a public high school in Caracas, Venezuela. The school locks the heavy metal gate at its sole entrance each day, making the building feel even more like a prison but students seem to be glad for the extra protection. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

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In this June 1, 2016 photo, desks and chairs sit in an abandoned classroom at a public high school in Caracas, Venezuela. Officially, Venezuela canceled 16 school days this year, including Friday classes because of an energy crisis. In reality, Venezuelan children are now missing an average of 40 percent of class time, a parent group estimates, and a third of teachers skip work on any given day to wait in food lines. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

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In this June 1, 2016 photo, the bedroom wall of Maria Arias is decorated with drawings and Disney characters in Caracas, Venezuela. Amid high student drop out rates, food shortages and increasing violence in Caracas, Arias' parents worry most about boys. Venezuela now has the highest teen pregnancy rate in South America, according to the United Nations. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

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In this June 1, 2016, Maria Arias packs her backpack in her bedroom, decorated with her middle name "Gabriela," in Caracas, Venezuela. Chatty and so studious her classmates call her âWikipedia,â Arias started the year at a school with dreams of becoming an accountant and moving to Paris. Her parents saved up to buy her new notebooks, one for each subject, but nine months later, they remain mostly empty due to her teachers not showing up for class, or entire school days being cancelled. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

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In this June 1, 2016 photo, students walk inside their public high school in Caracas, Venezuela. While the school locks its gate each morning, armed robbers still manage to infiltrate and stick up kids between classes. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
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In this June 1, 2016 photo, a student lays his head down during class at a public high school in Caracas, Venezuela. The annual high school dropout rate has doubled to 11 percent since 2011 and schools are understaffed as professionals flee the country. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

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In this June 1, 2016 photo, Maria Arias stands near her kitchen as she puts on earrings while getting ready for school in Caracas, Venezuela. So many students have fainted from hunger at Maria's school that administrators told parents to keep their children home until they could find more food. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

Venezuelan students struggle to learn amid food shortages and violence

Venezuelan children have missed an average of 40 percent of class time, a parent group estimates, as a third of teachers skip work on any given day to wait in food lines.

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