On Friday, March 10 at the National Pedagogical University (UPN Spanish acronym), delegates from the FARC-EP – among which Jairo Quintero, member of the National Council of Reincorporation (CNR Spanish acronym) and Carlos Antonio Lozada, who is part of the Secretariat of the insurgent organization, discussed in an open forum with professors and directives of the institution such as the rector Adolfo León Atehortúa and delegates from the State University System (SUE Spanish acronym), who expressed the importance of engaging academia in the process of implementation of the peace agreement signed late last year.
In the event, Jairo Quintero said that one of the fundamental components for the National Council of Reincorporation should be “the education and training of ex-combatants for political activity within the framework of legality”. Also, Adolfo Atehortúa (the rector of the UPN university) emphasized on the commitment that academia has in the construction of peace and the contribution that the State University System can have in the coverage of the educational needs of ex-combatants, especially on part of public universities that are located in the departments in which Transitional Local Zones for Normalization are located (where FARC-EP guerrillas are currently grouped in compliance with the agreement regarding reincorporation and decommissioning of weapons).
In this way, it is proposed to strengthen the role that the public university should play in securing knowledge, technical and professional training for the development of the new political organization that the FARC-EP will turn into after the reincorporation process. In that sense, some FARC-EP guerrillas expressed their willingness to continue their technical, technological and professional studies. Therefore it should be taken into account that some members of this organization have practiced certain disciplines for several years that have provided methodologies and knowledge that could be equated with academic knowledge.
This meeting between the FARC-EP and the academics seeks to build tools that contribute to the academic training of ex-combatants. The idea of members of the insurgency is to receive professionalized educational training to be able to further contribute in the development of the regions of Colombia where the conflict once lived; the proposal revolves around a critical education for the strengthening of the communities and their organization.