Citizenship education as a response to Colombia's social and political context

In response to the difficult social, economic and political problems that Colombia faces, such as inequality, discrimination, weak civil society—fuelled by illegality and drug trafficking—the Colombian Ministry of Education has embarked on an ambitious citizenship education program, with the hope of strengthening the role of education by establishing alternative solutions. This innovative program attempts to counteract Colombians’ recourse to violence as a means of solving the country’s endemic problems by developing the competencies of students, teachers and other participants in education. The competencies include sound reasoning, care for others, communication skills, reflection on action, knowledge and active participation in classroom, school and community matters. This six‐and‐a‐half‐year‐old project has started to create an educational system that takes into account many of the elements and relationships fundamental to the socio‐political and moral behaviour of all involved. The paper indicates the horizons that this program opens up and discusses some of the problematic aspects that still need to be addressed for the program to be sustainable.

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