Academic communities around the world have published numerous and important texts on the implications of the pandemic in educational processes, written about the new normal, curricular flexibility and the challenges of the 21st century school in unprecedented conditions are some of the topics that are addressed. Similarly, in our country there is an important number of reflections on the challenges posed by these particular conditions to continue guaranteeing education as a fundamental right for children, youth and adults in Colombia, the difficulties that exist in terms of connectivity, the limitations to develop the training processes mediated by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), given the insufficient conditions and preparation for it. Despite all these difficulties, the National Pedagogical University has continued to work constantly to maintain an open and supportive university.
So far this year and since the beginning of the health emergency, we have managed to carry out more than ten actions aimed at the permanence of our students, highlighting among them, solidarity campaigns for market deliveries and equipment loans, facilitating that our students can continue their training process; All this contributed to the number of cancellations in 2020-1 being lower than the other semesters, also to the majority of students being able to finish their studies and make their payments with great efforts, only 342 students out of the 8558 registered for 2020-1 could not cover the full value of their tuition. This implies a total investment of $ 3,833,844,106, of which $ 2,122,934,623 are from the University and $ 1,710,909,483 were provided by the National Government.
Based on these important actions, we were able to show that, against all expectations, the number of cancellations during 2020-1 was below the immediately previous semester. On the other hand, despite the conditions and difficulties posed by the pandemic, and thanks to the tuition assistance plan designed by the University, for 2020-2 we have managed to maintain the number of registered students. This shows that despite the difficulties and despite the great crisis, the University continues to serve the country to train the teachers required by the different territories.
Faced with the discussions that exist about the quality of teacher training in Colombia, according to the results of standardized tests, it is important to highlight that the discussion raised is much broader than the results themselves, it implies the analysis of the contexts in each training scenario and the role of the teacher in our society. It is also important to mention that the National Pedagogical University has stood out for its performance in these standardized tests, with results that are above the national average.
As it has done since its inception, the University continues to work and support the fight for quality public education for all, because according to the thought of Juan Amos Comenio, education and knowledge should be universal, being this the tool that would allow to reshape the world in harmony and elevate man towards a true humanity, a thought that we return to in the commemoration of the 350 years since the death of this great teacher. All the efforts and achievements made during this 2020 are special not only because of the particular and unprecedented characteristics that we go through as a species and as a society, but also because they take place within the framework of the 65 years that the University is commemorating and the 93 years of training teachers that our country and our society require.
Rector, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional