Colombia: Minister of Education announces free education for 2012
Free public education is an achievement of the civil society; the Colombian Coalition for the Right to Education and CLADE took active part in the process
Starting on January 2012, public education will be free in Colombia’s official schools from 1st grade to High School. This is what the Minister of Education, María Fernanda Campo, announced on December 1st. According to her, it will not be permitted to pay enrolment and services fees anymore, as for example, those referred to the student’s card, certificates, or degrees. According to El Espectador news, 500 thousand pesos from a 15 billion education budget will be assigned to official schools to guarantee free education.
An achievement of the civil society. Such an achievement is rooted in the long way paved by civil society’s advocacy. In August 2008, the Colombian Coalition for the Right to Education launched, jointly with CLADE, the Campaign for Free Education; this mobilization upheld the demands for free education as an irrevocable condition for the full realization of the right to education in Colombia. In April, 2010, the Constitutional Court of the country issued a communiqué, which states the principle of gratuity of education (click here to read more on that subject).
Nowadays, there are 1.6 million children excluded from the Colombian education system, mainly because of the complementary costs charged by public schools across the country.