>> It's a weekday in Venezuela, but this once bustling school in the town of Socopo, is closed. Its classrooms and corridors empty. Across Venezuela, many schools have shut down completely or are open only two or three days a week as teachers protest low salaries, and parents complain about lack of school lunches.
> But Venezuela's government insists, education remains a priority. And claims that 75% of the national budget goes to social sector programs. Despite Venezuela's plethora of problems, President Nicolas Maduro is widely expected to win re-election in May given that the opposition's most popular leaders are banned from running against him.
Feed them well. As they should be. But these days you can't feed them and they are four children.>> Free education was a corner stone of ex-president Hugo Chavez's socialist drew in the 90s. But now the education sector is falling apart. According to a study, nearly three million children are missing some or all classes in Venezuela, amid a deepening economic crisis that could cause long lasting damage to the South American country.
Public school teachers are also suffering, earning just over a dollar a month, nowhere near what Venezuelans need to feed themselves and their families. Forcing some to quit the profession.>> I don't wanna leave the country, and I'm trying to do my best not to leave like other colleagues who have decided to immigrate or seek other income with another job.
>> As Venezuela's political turmoil continues, experts fear the crisis in the education sector could worsen. One telling Reuters, it could leave behind a nation of illiterates.