August 5, 2021

Students from Colombian public universities begin indefinite strike

Students from Colombian public universities begin indefinite strike



The National Union of Higher Education Students (Unees) of Colombia, which includes 32 public universities in the country, has called for an indefinite cessation of activities in the face of the crisis due to a lack of budget faced by these schools.

The strike takes place after yesterday some 450,000 students and professors demonstrated in different cities in order to demand more resources for the sector, which was the first major mobilization that faced the government of President Ivan Duque.

According to expert calculations, higher education in Colombia has a deficit of 3.2 trillion pesos (about 1.034 billion dollars) for its operation and public universities also need 15 trillion pesos (about 4.852 billion dollars) for investment in infrastructure.

The cessation of activities, which began this Thursday and has the support of the Colombian Federation of Education Workers (Fecode) and the Unified Workers Central (CUT), will include a new national mobilization on October 17.

To try to calm the spirits, the Colombian president said yesterday that by 2019 are expected resources for 39 billion pesos (about 12,615 million dollars) for education, the highest amount "that the country has seen" for that area.

Additionally, the Government reported that it will reallocate 500,000 million pesos (about 161.5 million dollars) for public higher education in the National General Budget of 2019, which, in the opinion of students and teachers, is insufficient.

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