Colombian children and teenagers will no longer have to pay tuition for primary and secondary education, President Juan Manuel Santos announced Wednesday.
According to the president, some 8.6 million children will benefit from the government’s Free Education Policy and will be able to attend school until graduation without having to pay intuition.
“We are a country that is too unequal, with too much injustice, with too much poverty. Because of this we are determined to correct, to reduce these gaps. And we are doing this with programs like this, giving totally free [education] to the children, to all children without exception,” said Santos while visiting a primary school in the city of Cali.
The free education is part of a series of social investment programs, announced Santos.
“In terms of percentage of the national budget, social investment almost doubles between 2011 and 2012,” said Santos.
The implementation of the policy comes days after Colombian schools’ deadline to pay this year’s tuition.