Colombian students on Sunday vowed end a month-long strike, but under conditions, a student representative told Caracol Radio following a meeting of the national student council.
According to student representative Boris Duarte, the students will return to classes after the government has publicly and officially withdrawn a controversial higher education reform, commits to not presenting any other student reform without prior consult of student and university associations and the “demilitarizing of universities.”
In anticipation of the student meeting this weekend, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Friday instructed his education minister to take the controversial reform off the legislative agenda. The withdrawal of the proposal must be approved by the Senate.
On Saturday, Santos said at a public meeting that he wants to sit down with student organizations “and focus on the construction of a great reform of higher education.”
The 550,000 students of Colombia’s public universities were on strike since mid-November and carried out several massive demonstrations to demand the withdrawal of the reforms that according to the government would allow access to more students to academic institutions, but according to students would lead to an impoverishment of the educational system and force students to take on student loans, which they consider against their constitutional right to education.