Constitutional Court sustains petition for free education
This fact means the acknowledgement of the right to free education established in the political Constitution of the country
A milestone is announced in Colombia: The Constitutional Court of Colombia sustained the petition for free education filed by the Colombian Coalition for the Right to Education - CLADE national forum in Colombia -, the NGO DeJusticia and Cornell Law School Human Rights Clinic (USA). Even though sentence is still to be passed, this fact means that the right to free education will be recognized and established in the political Constitution of the country. This is, therefore, civil society’s achievement in rights justiciability, articulated in the defense of quality education for all promoted by the Campaign for Free Education - mobilized by the Colombian Coalition and CLADE since August 2008.
“Non-free education in Colombia has denied the fundamental human right to education merely because it privatizes education services, hence allowing the access to education only to those privileged enough to afford it. This in interlinked with all human rights since exclusion and poverty increase as well as all the marginality that stems from it, including the right to full citizenship”, explains Esperanza Cerón Villaquirán, Coordinator of the Colombian Coalition for the Right to Education”.
The petition considers that Law 115 – through which the Colombian General Education Law was passed – violates some of the articles of the Political Constitution of the country: “Such situation contravenes articles 44 and 45 of the Constitution, which acknowledge the right to education of children and youths in the country; article 67 establishes as general rule free education in State institutions; and finally article 93 of the Constitution recognizes the constitutional status of international treaties and conventions on human rights ratified by Colombia”, the document affirms.
Now we are closer to the implementation of free education in the entire Colombian education system. In order to be implemented, the sentence has to pass to the parliament, which must establish rules on its contents. In future articles, CLADE will disseminate the document and further achievements towards the realization of the right to education for all.
Read the petition for free education