The University of Antioquia is 23rd on the list of the best universities in Latin America and is the third best in the country after Los Andes and the National University. The list, published by QS Latin American University Rankings 2014, rated the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile as the top university in Latin America, followed by the University of Sao Paulo, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, all in Brazil, and the Los Andes University of Bogotá in fifth place.
Archivo de ‘Education’
Colombia’s Education Minister, Maria Fernanda Campo, revealed that 561,277 students are registered in the country’s education system but don’t actually exist; in other words, they are “phantom students” who absorb resources from the State.
The Department of Education has been auditing the nation’s schools, which made it possible for them to identify the situation and take action to correct it. The system showed there were 9,418,237 students in Colombia’s public schools but the audits revealed that the real number is closer to 8,856,960. Buenaventura was the city with the most “phantom students”, followed by Turbo and Riohacha.
The entity was able to recover 840,000 million pesos and redirect it so that the funds may benefit actual students.
‘Apartadó, leader in coexistence and civility’, was among the projects selected for development and will be financed in part with a 250 million-dollar credit from the InterAmerican Development Bank.
The proposal, created by Apartadó’s Department of Education and the Facilitar Corporation, is aimed at providing students with a more comprehensive education. The goal is to make sure students become competent in the field of their choice, but also respect human rights and coexist as members of a community.
The project is to be implemented in 16 public schools and contemplates including families so that they may become more involved in the education being offered to their children.
The Academic Missions to Promote Superior Education in Colombia (MAPES), a program sponsored by the Ministries of Foreign Relations and Education, will begin their tour on September 24th. The goal is to attract foreign students and encourage them to enroll in Colombian universities.
In their first phase, the missions will focus on Latin America and head to Ecuador first; they will then move on to Peru, Bolivia and Panama where more than 40 Colombian institutions will attempt to partner with their counterparts in those countries, present their programs and explain the advantages of completing studies in Colombia.
The missions will focus on presenting the country as an ideal place to study the Spanish language as well as biodiversity, given the wealth of flora and fauna that exists.
In the future, the goal is to expand the missions to Europe as well, especially Germany.
Almost 4,000 children from Medellín’s lower-income families are students at a Good Start (Buen Comienzo) Preschool, a program that began when Sergio Fajardo was mayor, continued during the Alonso Salazar administration and lives on with current mayor, Anibal Gaviria, who is working to strengthen it and seems to be happiest when he is participating in the opening of one of these schools.
Just this year, he has helped open three new schools, for a total of 11 in the past three years, and six more are scheduled to open soon. These early childhood educational facilities are located in “strategic areas, where children are vulnerable, not just because of insecurity but also inequality. That’s where we want children to have different opportunities,” said First Lady of Medellín, Claudia Márquez, who has taken over the program during her husband’s administration.
According to the results of a new study, higher education will not be the answer to educational inequality in Antioquia; on the contrary, the lack of equal opportunities and access to education could stand in the way of consolidating a strong educational system.
Lead researcher, Jose Joaquin Brunner, said efforts to compensate for inequality must start early, otherwise attempts made later result in nothing but frustration and mismanagement of resources.
Alonso Hoyos, education advisor to the Governor’s Office, said that one way the issue will be addressed is ensuring that public universities expand and have a much stronger presence in Antioquia’s regions.
Decree 1888 of August 3rd, 2012 issued by Antioquia’s Governor, Sergio Fajardo, bans “any type of event that highlights or rewards the physical attributes of girls completing their studies in official educational establishments”.
The goal is to promote an adequate educational atmosphere and “pedagogical practices that dignify the lives of girls and young women.”
According to Education Secretary, Felipe Gil, “What we want is basically to strengthen the talent of Antioquia’s youth, that’s why we promote events like academic challenges. We want our spaces to be true learning spaces.” The decree claims that runway shows, contests and beauty pageants do not contribute to the ethical development, nor do they offer girls the opportunity to develop their capacities but, on the contrary, constitute activities that are “discriminatory and humiliating” to women.
The debate is still open, however, because for some sectors the measure is cause for concern.
“We agree that women must be dignified above all other things, but it concerns us that people may reject activities like tailoring and dressmaking, which are so important in Antioquia. “I’m concerned about the negative message that may be conveyed to youngsters about this issue,” said CEO of Inexmoda, Carlos Eduardo Botero.
On Thursday the University of Antioquia had to be evacuated after six hooded suspects threw explosive potatoes on campus. Incidents began shortly after 3:00 p.m..
Agents from the mobile anti-disturbance police squad (Esmad) were called on to the scene to control the situation.
On Thursday night it was confirmed that clases will resume on Friday. Governor of Antioquia, Sergio Fajardo, said that the Public Forces will enter the campus in case of any type of violent act that jeopardizes the safety of people or public property.
The Superior Council of the University of Antioquia decided on Tuesday to reelect Alberto Uribe Correa as rector of the university. Correa, a physician specializing in dermatology, has filled this position since 2003; he was reelected with five votes.
After the meeting it was revealed that Governor of Antioquia, Sergio Fajardo, did not vote for Uribe Correa because he feels the University needs a “breathe of fresh air”.“I think reelection was inconvenient,” Fajardo said, ”the most difficult decision for a person in a position of power is understanding and accepting that a new air is needed. I respect the Council’s decision, of course, and will work with Mr. Uribe for Antioquia, the most educated”.
Meanwhile Minister of Education, Maria Fernanda Campo, supported the decision.
When it comes to graduate programs in telecommunications, Colombia doesn’t have much to choose from. Most of the field’s professionals have received training abroad thanks to personal efforts or their employer’s need.
A study completed at the Medellín campus of the Santo Tomas University confirmed the shortage using data from businesses and alumni. Medellín’s Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana offers one program and very few exist in Bogotá.
One possible reason for the absence of these programs is the high cost of equipment, which is the reason many are asking for improved technology. The Santo Tomas and the University of Medellin announced they will each be offering programs in this field to try to bridge the gap.