Colombia’s major cities embrace as students have announced massive protests for Wednesday demanding the government keep its promise on educational reform.
While previous student demonstrations were mainly peaceful, transport in cities like Bogota, Medellin and Cali is likely came to a complete halt when the students took to the street in November last year.
The students claim the government has not kept its word about involving students and universities in the construction of a reform of Colombia’s higher education system.
According to student organization MANE, “the government continues to push a reform agenda that will not solve the problems and ignored to the hard work of the MANE and the student community to construct an alternative that achieves to change the neo-liberal model.”
The students claim the government continues to push student loans instead of subsidized public education and violates academic autonomy.
“All this is accompanied by a series of threats to members of student organizations of the country which we strongly reject,” the MANE said on its website.
The government denies breaking promises made after massive student protests shut down the capital Bogota on several occasions late last year and says that the government is keeping the promises made to the MANE and teachers union Fecode.
According to outgoing Minister Maria Fernando Campo, “there are no reasons that justify the organized marches.”
Students and government committed themselves to jointly work on a reform on Colombia’s higher education system in November after the government pulled a reform proposal widely rejected among students.