Colombia’s government allocates millions of dollars to fund a massive increase in free public education in 2012.
Education Minister Maria Fernanda Campo announced a $7.7 billion budget for the coming year, $256 million of which will pay for free education to be extended by six years.
Colombia pupils have so far only received free education for the first five years of schooling. Earlier this year the government announced the extension of free schooling for all children up to age 17.
A statement on the Ministry for Education website said, “This decision is a very important advance for closing gaps in equality and access to education, for all children and young people.
“More than 8.5 million students will not have to pay a penny for tuition, boarding and additional services in official education institutions.”
The Ministry is calling for parents to help with the implementation by law by alerting them of schools illegally charging students.
Campo also announced that $513 million had been allocated to pay for the construction and reconstruction of 200,000 educational institutions severely affected by Colombia’s rainy season. The works will begin in the first quarter of 2012.