In Colombia ignorance abounds because people are not taught, in context, how things work

(Translated by Deryn Collins, a CSN Volunteer Translator. Edited by Teresa Welsh, a
CSN Volunteer Editor.)
“In Colombia ignorance abounds because people are not taught, in context, how things
work. From infancy they acquire useless and trivial bits of knowledge piecemeal, which
creates a limited form of thinking which serves only to look at their real world and
creates a marked inability to think.”
This statement, by one of the most important neuropsychologists in the world, the
Colombian Rodoflfo Llinás, is the same thought of the indigenous people and in their
words when we talk of ethno education. We understand that appropriate education such
as the formation of individuals is determined by the expectations of each community,
under the principles that rule the indigenous movement (Unity, Land, Culture and
Autonomy). Education should be not to serve corporate interests but should include the
feelings and thoughts of the elders of the community, which are transmitted by word
of mouth from one to another. And in the words of the rector of what is considered to
be the best school in the country, that improving education does not mean making a
one-storey school into a four-storey one but instead improving human processes to a
high standard.¨ In schools colleges and universities human beings are not created, but
Education has become an efficient machine whose goal is to produce massive quantities
of doctors and high school graduates, to impress with quantity regardless of the quality,
for each child that repeats a year the state has to reinvest the cost of the subsidy,
930,000 pesos. Reducing the number of repeat years to the minimum is to save money
and resources, rather than be based on academic results and improving the deplorable
quality of education that results when students automatically move up” a journalist in
the El Espectador said on the subject.
Now, apparently, the quantity before quality strategy does not work out well –
the recent PISA results from the last average of 65 countries (eight of them Latin-
American) showed that our country is in pathetic 52nd place in the world education
ranking, which measures quality of education. At all costs, and contrary to our decision
we mean to stop this education system that makes humans docile and deaf now that the
time has come to demand respect. From Bogotá teachers, coordinators and academic
thinkers are imposed. First the responsibility of education was given to the priests
who tried to evangelize us, then the traditional families of Cauca wanted us to submit
(remembering that the ex governor Chaux was tried for parapolitics) and now they
want to privatize us, according to President Santos. All this contrary to the will of the
indigenous people – those who should be the front line in the education our people. We
can and need to educate people to work for the multi nationals and at the same time
respect their rights… From the town council of Cerro Tijeras we ask –Up to where do
they wish to take us with the education we receive? We know if we can understand
the why of the thing we see there is no reason to comply with mandates veiled behind
hidden interests. We will continue to protect our own education because it is inspired
by the spirits and nature, creating proud, dignified and honest individuals, who have
a sense of belonging and community. Therefore, we invite Colombians that before
thinking ‘what am I going to study, the first question should be who is the puppet
moving the strings? What game are they playing with us? Think…..act…..
CABILDO INDÍGENA CERRO TIJERAS (Indigenous Lobby of Cerro Tijeras)
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