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English essay

Gabriel Alejandro Diaz Leon

Nacional strike 2018

Two months ago, approximately, all the public universities in Colombia declared a national strike,
with the aim to ask the government the budget that the 32 public institutions of superior
education are needing to work normally the following semesters, and also the money needed to
solve the operative deficit that these institutions have been unfolding because of the
underfunding which have been constant since many years before.
This situation was caused by an act that was seated in 1992 that is called “30 act” (more accurately
the section 86 of this act), it says that institutions would receive a definite amount of money that
would going to increase just according to the increase in the IPC (In English: CPI consumer price
index) of the country.
However this index have been almost static along the years and because of that the budget for
education stayed frozen in spite of the fact that the needs of the education institutions have been
increasing dramatically, and in addition, they are having now nearly 4 times the amount of
students they had before.
So, bearing this ideas on mind, students, teachers and many others have been going out to the
streets on marches that have been the biggest on years. The amount of people supporting the
movement is amazing and it have been successful to catch the attention of the people and to a
lesser extent of the government.
However like most of big events it has both advantages and disadvantages for students and in
general for the people, so I want now to reckon up some of the most significant advantages and
disadvantages that the strike have represent for us in this time.
On first place obviously the classes were interrupted since the beginning of the strike and so, the
classes are not and will not be carried on with the same academic level and the same quality that
they usually have in a normal, uninterrupted semester. Students are these days interested on
affairs related to the strike and the politic and social situation that they are trying to improve and
change. Therefore they are not putting many attention to the topics from their career.
By contrast it have given the students the opportunity to be more conscious of the politic power
they have and how they could be part on a social change, how the knowledge they get every day
in the classrooms could be useful for the society and for helping other people. Students during
this time have studied laws, gone and talk with people in the streets and in the public transport
and so on. Besides, by assemblies and other meetings of that kind, they are getting immersed into
a democracy and understanding how people should be an important part in the country´s
decisions, it is certainly a big step to recover the reins of our country that have been leaved on
the hands of a few.
Secondly the marches had affected the mobility and transportation in the cities in which they are
being carried on, every week people who work, study or do any activity for long hours every day,
and that are trying to arrive to the place in which they do it or to return home, have to stay
unavoidably in long traffic jams or to walk for long distances.
It is for sure a side effect problem of the marches, but it is also something people are beginning
to understand and tolerate. The blocking of tracks is a very useful tool for the students to catch
the attention of people and media, so it is something that have to keep being done.
So to sum up this first section, in spite of some annoying disadvantages, this strike has a good
background, and the reasons for doing it are fair and sensible.
Now continuing with this short commentary of the strike I would like to show some of the things
I feel annoyed about this, or that could be done in a better way.
One of them is the fact that the attendance to the different events of the strike is not as high as
we would like, some people including teachers and students are completely unconcerned about
the problems of the education and they have use this time of strike to go on holidays or just rest
and relax at home. It annoys me also the fact that some people are just worried about their scores
or about the additional time they are going to have to study, or about the travels they are not
going to be able to do because of the modification in the previous academic calendar.
Moreover, I think that sometimes the assemblies are not as democratic as they are supposed to
be because the ideas of people who scream louder or that talk more confidentially are taken on
account more often than others. The public derision is a thing that can be seen in every assembly
as well. When someone has an idea that is not of pleasure for the most of people in the room, he
or she is commonly booed and has to shut up and sit again. A real and democratic assembly, as
these boasted of being, should hear the voices of all the people and all the points of view that
attendants have, not just the ones that are more pleasant for the majority. It have also given the
opportunity to some persons to emerge like self-proclaimed leaders from the people, and to put
themselves in a higher position than the others without a correct agreement with people who
they are supposed to be leading.
Finally the most troublesome thing for me of the strike is the constant feeling I have that this
could not be of any help to solve the problem. Sometimes I feel that even if we all try to change
something, the people in the government are the only ones who can decide to help us or not. We
are living nearly in an absolutism government, the politic power is bunched in the president and
in people who agrees with him, so it is very hard to get our aims if they are against the
But even with that I constantly realize that even if it is just on the paper, we are in a democracy
which etymologically means the government of the people (from the Greek words dῆμος (people)
and κράτος (Strength, might and then government) , and so we should be part in that government
and stop leaving it, as I said before, in the hands of a few, this attempts of political organization
and of political protest are the only ways we have to make the country and this society a little bit
better and a little bit more democratic for the future generations.

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