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By Joel Mayor Loran

Venezuelan Minister of Education Adan Chavez highlighted the role of teachers in "the transformations that society needs," Tuesday at the Pedagogy 2007 International Congress taking place in Havana, Cuba.

"The change must start with them, to educate the new individual centered on values and consciousness. Without revolutionary ideology there cannot be a Revolution," said Chavez.

Chavez explained that Venezuela is implementing a framework for pedagogy that is in tune with the countrys progress towards socialism, "in which citizens acquire virtues that will contribute to society; a socialist system of education that will finally do away with the chains of capitalist domination."

The education minister announced that only in one year, 2006, Venezuela built 23 schools for indigenous people, 50 for special education and several other institutions of the most diverse types. In contrast, before 1998, when President Hugo Chavez took office, education only received 2.8 percent of the countrys Gross Domestic Product, despite the gigantic oil export revenues.

"Under past governments, many schools were privatized while enrollment fees and monthly payments in public schools increased," he added.

Venezuelan Minister of Higher Education Luis Acuna Cedeno also addressed the Pedagogy 2007 International Congress along with Cuban Minister of Higher Education Juan Vela Valdes who delivered a conference on the new challenges of the Cuban University. A new a book on methodological training entitled El entrenamiento metodologico conjunto was presented by Cuban Minister of Education Luis Ignacio Gomez and Sergio Alonso Rodriguez.

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