BOGOTA – Thousands of Colombian public school teachers launched a 24-hour national walkout on Wednesday demanding that the government fulfill a set of agreements reached in June 2017 that ended a 37-day strike.
In Bogota, teachers affiliated with the Fecode union gathered at the National Park, from where they started out toward the Ministry of Education in a lively march accompanied by music and protest chants.
The teachers waved Colombian flags and held up banners with the names of the schools where they work.
The education minister, Yaneth Giha, said the strike is groundless.
“I ask the president of Fecode to explain the concrete reasons why this strike was organized. We have been fulfilling the points of the signed agreement,” Giha said on Twitter.
Fecode described the state of teachers’ healthcare as “calamitous,” claiming that members are being denied medical attention.
Teachers taking part in the march said that their problems range from the lack of job security and classroom overcrowding to delays in the implementation of the school meal plan (PAE) in some regions.
“Courses have yet to be assigned to hundreds of teachers, students protest the lack of teachers, parents demand school transportation, some schools have been affected by burglaries because they cannot hire guards ... and the PAE has yet to be implemented in several departments,” Fecode said in a statement.