At least 100 students and parents were protesting resolution 3390, an agreement recently reached between Bogota’s Department of Education and several private schools. The resolution would mean that final year students in public schools in the north of the city would have to attend classes in colleges in central areas, involving long commutes on Bogota’s mass transit bus network, the TransMilenio.
Today’s street protest was aimed at disrupting service of the TransMilenio. According to one parent; “We cannot allow our children to have to travel 2 hours per day on the TransMilenio. It’s not safe for the students and could contribute to school dropout”.
Several teams of police were required to remove blockades and disperse the protesters, though not before traffic jams were created on highways north of the city, and TransMilenio passangers were forced to stay inside stations for safety.
In response to the protests, Bogota’s Education Secretary Ricardo Angel Sanchez has announced a suspension of the resolution, confirming that the agreements with the private schools would not be implemented for now.
The protesters are following in the footsteps of recent countrywide student protests, which were succesful in forcing the government to withdraw controversial proposed reforms to higher education.