The Intercultural University of the nationalities and indigenous peoples of Ecuador Amawtay Wasi will be back in operation "sometime in the year 2020", announced today the Secretariat of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (Senescyt).
The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) and the Senescyt today signed an agreement to promote the reopening of that university, which was closed in 2013 during the evaluation regime carried out in the government of the former president, Rafael Correa.
At that time, the Ecuadorian higher education council considered that it did not have the established quality parameters, although the indigenous community saw it as a political revenge by Correa, who had withdrawn their support.
In a press conference, the president of Conaie, Jaime Vargas, and the secretary of the Senescyt, Adrián Bonilla, confirmed the intention to reopen the University with its initial offer of degrees, and affirmed that 2019 will be a year dedicated to the planning of what is necessary for this center to work.
Bonilla explained that a series of steps should be followed next year before asking for a budget in the project of accounts for 2020 that includes spending on infrastructure, teaching and administrative staff, salary of the management commission, and so on.
"This University is rehabilitated with all its rights and has a public community character, that is, it is going to be a public University that will work in its Government structure with the communities to which this University is serving," said the representative of the Ecuadorian Government
The announcement coincides with the visit to Ecuador of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, who has arrived to learn about the country's progress in relation to the rights of the indigenous population.
In the act, the Senescyt presented the road map that will be followed in the procedure to rehabilitate the school and its entry into operation.
Among the steps to follow, assured Bonilla, would be the creation of a management commission "that acts as a university council until the University builds all its statutes", another point of the document.
Likewise, it will be necessary to define its territorial structure, where its headquarters will be located and where in the country its faculties will be established, as well as an initial offer of qualifications that will become operational in the same year 2020.
"Let's not forget that this University is emblematic, that it will change the very idea of the country, and we have to work in the university systems of quality assurance that it must receive", added Bonilla, who acknowledged that this is a "pending task" of the Roadmap.
He also stressed that Amawtay Wasi University "is a need of the country," which has to "recover the wealth of their ancestral cultures on which the Constitution itself is based".
For his part, the president of Conaie said that this is "a historic moment" for the Ecuadorian indigenous community as it is going to "build a new society, a new country, a plurinational state, of law, justice and equality" .
According to Vargas, the indigenous people recover their "bilingual intercultural education system, our University of ancestral knowledge", so today is a "very important" day for all of them.
"This University wants to go further, it will be for all young people from all over Ecuador, it will be a University of Sciences, important to build, from that space, this plurinational State," said the leader of the Conaie, which also wanted to "publicly support "The management of the Senescyt in this regard.