Klaireth Díaz is a 1st-grade teacher at Elías Toro School, one of the biggest public schools in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela.
Last year, she says, attendance was painfully low. Every day, of a class of 30 children at least 10 would be absent.
“The reason was always lack of food,” she told Fox News Latino.
She said she had a student who skipped class every single Thursday and when she asked his mother about it, she explained that Thursday was the day of the week assigned to her family to buy food at government-regulated prices – which involves standing in line starting sometimes as early as 3 a.m.
“She told me she couldn’t leave the child alone at home and didn’t have anybody to bring him to school,” Díaz said.
Diaz also once saw a child faint during a cultural event. Across the country, teachers have said they have seen children faint or fall asleep because they haven’t had enough to eat.
“When he came to he told me that he had only eaten an arepa (cornbread) at 10 a.m. It was 3 p.m.,” she said.