Almost one million children between the ages of 5 and 16 are not going to school in Colombia revealed the Ministry of Education on Monday.
The Education Minister Cecilia Maria Velez announced that a new series of stategies were to be implemented throuhgout the country to ensure that every Colombia child receives an education however, the she called for the urgent collaboration from local authorities to combat the issue.
“Mayors can decide whether to use police-type measures … we would like it to be voluntary but local governments have permission to use more coercive measures,” stated the mayor with regard to obliging parents to send their children to school, reported news station Caracol on Tuesday.
According to the Ministry, education campaigns have succeeded in reducing the drop-out rate from 8% in 2002 to 5.4% in 2008 and the aim is to bring this down to 5% by 2010.
With slogans such as “School is waiting for you” and “Not one less child in school” the government is launching a fresh campaign to promote the importance of staying in school and ensure that, with the new initiatives, all young Colombians have access to a quality education.
The message will be broadcast across the radio, television and local and national newspapers and special focus will be directed to the 33 municipalities where the drop-out rate is concerningly high.