More than 2,000 young students of Misión Ribas participated in a civil-military parade celebrated in La Victoria, Aragua State, to commemorate the 192th anniversary of La Victoria Battle, leaded by José Félix Ribas, from whom the educational program was name after. This mission was created with the idea of including, without distinction of age or social class, all those people who had not finished their secondary studies.
The event, celebrated also as a commemoration of Youth Battle, was chaired by the Venezuelan Head of State, Hugo Chávez, who asked Venezuelans to make Ribas’s ideas part of their lives. He also recalled one of Ribas’s more famous sentences: “We cannot choose between winning or dieing, winning is compelling.”
President Chávez said that along with Ribas, a group of young students, evolved and leading people died in that battle without achieving their goal of independence. “If those men and women died knowing that they did not achieve full independence, none of us will end the same way”, Chávez stated.
“Today we must win at any cost in honour of those martyrs and their frustrated dream”, Chávez emphasized when asked Venezuelans to help the independence process come true.
Chávez made clear that when speaking of winning he refers to “achieving firm, deep, full and comprehensive concretion of Simón Bolívar’s national project framed within a political project developed on full and real democratic basis where power lays on peoples’ hands, national sovereign leaders.”
Likewise, president Chávez assured that young people represents the most powerful driving force Venezuela counts on. He also made reference to the cohesion between young military and civil worlds.
Pride and satisfaction
Misión Ribas’s winners participating at the parade in honour of the mission’s eponym which will offer them the opportunity of completing secondary education, showed their satisfaction for the benefit received from Misión Ribas. Lerry Pacheco assured that by participating in the program he has learned how to deal with life experiences, and also show the world that Venezuelans are capable people.”
Likewise, Yurima Torres thanked president Hugo Chávez for “giving mothers like me the chance of organizing themselves to keep going with life, as motto says: “Winning is compelling.” That’s why I recommend that young people get involved and prepare themselves for the future of our nation.”
Juan Grimán considers that Misión Ribas “has represented a real improvement, a tremendous opportunity, since it has allowed me to get my diploma from high school, a goal never achieved before.” Ramón Noguera also said that “it is the first time we have a President able of developing this kind of social projects. I am 81 years old, and this government has given a lot. We still have much to give.”
The civil-military parade was held in Interindustrial street of La Victoria, Aragua State, and it was attended by almost 25,000 people, among representatives from social movements, community organizations, members of the Armed Forces and general public.
In 1947, the Constituent National Assembly declared Youth Day holiday in Venezuela as a tribute to those Venezuelan students and seminarists who give their blood to make real the national independence ideal of La Victoria Battle, held on February 12, 1814, whereby Ribas got a decisive triumph for the national independence struggle.
Victories followed by more victories
Misión Ribas operates under Energy and Petroleum Ministry’s guardianship, by means of Misión Ribas Foundation and Petróleos de Venezuela.
Misión Ribas, founded by the Bolivarian administration on November 17, 2003, consists on an alternative educational program aimed at providing Venezuelans access to and participation in a qualified educational system without any discrimination whatsoever. It also intends to involve those who had been excluded from the Formal Educational System and give them the opportunity of getting their high school diploma.
The graduation of 162,543 high school students represents one of the most significant achievements of Misión Ribas, a program involving 602,502 students throughout the country. Up to this date, 25,183 students graduated from Misión Ribas have continued their university studies through Misión Sucre, and 240 graduated students are now attending the Communitarian Comprehensive Medicine course in Cuba. By February 2006, other 73 students will arrive to that same country to follow the same course.
In 2006, three new graduation ceremonies will be held, and 500,000 new students from Misión Robinson will participate in Misión Ribas. In short term, the first pilot group of 300 people will enter the program together with their corresponding Misión Robinson facilitators. They will then get their own Misión Ribas facilitators to guarantee the adaptation process from one mission to another.
Male and female Misión Ribas winners are also involved in Parish Management Centers activities funded by PDVSA and installed within educational facilities. This intends to give these people technological tools, and allow them to put into practice theoretical knowledge achieved in Computing areas, as well as, further community organization and social auditing.