The Colombian Federation of Education Workers (Fecode) announced Tuesday a two-day strike to protest for a constitutional reform which guarantees adequate public funding for infrastructure, transportation, and feeding. This measure is accompanied by “Occupy Bogota” (La Gran Toma), a massive march called for Wednesday which demands improvements in the teachers’ working conditions.
Fecode seeks the fulfillment of the agreements signed with the National government in December 2018, which were aimed at improving the Colombian teachers’ working conditions by providing salary bonuses and improving teacher evaluations. They also demand timely compliance with health contracts for teachers and their families.
“We require a greater political will from the National government to find timely solutions in the negotiation process,” Fecode said in a statement and added that “the delay will aggravate the already critical problems within the country’s public education system.”
The teachers’ mobilization also rejects the National Development Plan proposed by President Ivan Duque administration because it harms the future of the public system.
In this regard, Carlos Eduardo Vasco, a physicist who coordinated the ‘Mission of Sages’ formed in 1994, criticized Duque’s Plan for lacking consistent objectives on scientific education.
“Where are the main goals of the old Mission of Science, Education and Development?,” Vasco asked and added “where are the funding guarantees for the December agreements, which [President Duque administration] reached with college students, professors and rectors?”
Today’s mobilization is the second strike that Fecode carries out so far this year. On Feb. 14, the Colombian teachers staged another national strike demanding improvements to the provision of health services for teachers and their families.