Victory for Public Education in Colombia
After 37 days of striking, CODEV partner the Federation of Colombian Educators (FECODE) reached an agreement with the Ministry of Education in Colombia.
Teachers were joined by students and parents in organized peaceful actions across the country, in some cases there were serious confrontations between peaceful protesters and police officers, and furthermore in the context of the national strike three teachers were killed and one disappeared.
Some of the hard fought agreements are:
- A structural reform of the General System of Contributions which will make more resources available for public education. This discussion will also include Congress, mayors, governors and other important actors of the educative community. By July 20th, a commission will be created with representatives of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance, office of the Procurator General and FECODE to present a proposal for the next ten years.
- After the teachers’ strike of 2015, the Colombian government had already agreed to an income equalization by 2019 which has not been fulfilled. With the current agreement the government has agreed to establish the proper mechanisms towards income equalization by 2021. At the same time a new allowance for teachers to be paid progressively; teachers will receive the equivalent of 6% of the monthly salary, until reaching 15% after 2020.
- Defining a road map for the creation of three grades in public preschool by 2024. Although the General Education Law states the importance of universal preschool education, today only one year of preschool is mandatory.
- Develop the project “Schools as Territories of Peace” across the country in order to transform public education institutions into spaces for education in human rights and peaceful coexistence. You can find out more about this initiative here: (link to our Video Clip “FECODE Schools as territories of peace John Avila”)
- Other points revolve around education public policy, union rights and teachers’ health.