Public schools in Bogota will be closed ahead of the massive labor protests scheduled throughout the city Thursday, with classes cancelled for over 1,000,000 students.
Bogota’s Minister of Education Oscar Sanchez announced Wednesday night that, due to safety concerns presented by the mobilizations, the city government has decided to close all public schools and daycare services in the city.
“In the interest of protecting students, who are going to be safer in their houses than commuting through the city,” said Sanchez, “the Mayor and his secretaries decided to suspend classes in official city schools [Thursday], and recommend that the private education sector and the institutions of higher learning do the same.”
There are currently no estimates as to how many participants the protests will have, but officials are preparing for a huge showing, as university students, health workers, teachers and other labor groups, including Colombia’s largest union, take to the street behind growing public disapproval of President Juan Manuel Santos‘ handling of ongoing national labor strikes.
Sanchez, for his part, lent support to the protesters, indicating he supports the right of peaceful protest, and vocalizing specifically in favor of the announced teachers strike, saying via twitter, “[The Ministry of Education of] Bogota has supported the declaration of [the teachers union. The] Health and wellbeing of teachers is a condition for democratic society.”
SED Bogota ha apoyado pliego de @fecode Salud y bienestar de maestros es condición de una sociedad democrática.
— Óscar Sánchez (@OscarSanchezSED) August 29, 2013