Response from the National University for criticism of who take classes in containers

Response from the National University for criticism of who take classes in containers
Response from the National University for criticism of students who take classes in containers

Unal announced that it has almost 100,000 million pesos allocated to the execution of works at the Tumaco headquarters – credit National University of Colombia

The National University of Colombia (Unal) is at the center of a growing controversy related to its headquarters in Tumaco, Nariño, due to fears that buildings in this region will become underused infrastructure, commonly known as ‘white elephants’.

The controversy increased with the knowledge that are receiving classes in containers, situation that generated concern and criticism from the student community.

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Students at the National University Tumaco headquarters receive classes in containers – credit Universidad Nacional Tumaco headquarters

In response to these concerns, Unal announced that it has almost 100,000 million pesos allocated to the execution of works and audits corresponding to phases 1 and 2 of the campus development.

The university explained that the financing is made up of 41% of its own funds, 36% comes from the General Royalties System through the Pacific General Compensation Fund, and 23% was contributed by the Netherlands.

The educational institution emphasized the commitment acquired towards the continuous improvement of the infrastructure of the Tumaco headquarters, which includes preventive and corrective maintenance of the current facilities to ensure their optimal functioning. Besides, He pointed out the joint work with government entities and international donors to advance this purpose.

“It is important to clarify that preventive and corrective maintenance is carried out on all spaces of the current infrastructure of the Tumaco Headquarters, in order to guarantee their proper functioning at the service of the missionary purposes of the university (…). “It is committed to improving infrastructure, for which it has collaborated with government entities and international donors,” Unal said in a statement.

Representative Jennifer Pedraza expressed concern about the possible risk of losing a donation of 12 million euros from the Netherlands, due to delays in project management – credit Colprensa

However, the institution indicated through the same document that it has faced significant obstacles in the process of carrying out the works, including increases in the costs of fundamental materials such as steel, attributed to the coronavirus pandemic.

“These cost overruns have required the search for additional resources and have delayed construction plans. Despite having launched a tender in October 2023, the lack of proposals led to it being declared void,” the university explained.

The situation becomes even more critical with the warning of the representative to the Chamber, Jennifer Pedraza, who expressed her concern about the possible risk of losing a donation of 12 million euros from the Netherlands, due to delays in the project management. “Today it is at absolute risk, presumably due to the negligence of the National University itself and, why not? Due to a lack of intervention or promotion by the ministry,” said Pedraza.

Given this context, The representative indicated that “more agile and efficient management by Unal and the entities involved is essential to ensure the use of resources.” available and effectively advance in the improvement of the infrastructure of the headquarters in Tumaco, thus guaranteeing an adequate educational environment for its students.”

Aurora Vergara, Minister of Education, delayed the appointment of the new rector of the National University – credit Ministry of Education

During the current crisis, it was also revealed that, The appointment of the new rector of the National University, José Ismael Peña, will suffer delays. The Minister of Education, Aurora Vergara, provided on Tuesday, April 30, her final response to the General Secretariat of the National University after reviewing a draft of the minutes presented for approval.

According to sources in his office, this is the third time in which his requests to explicitly include his comments during the rector election process, and to publicly reveal the votes on the issues agreed upon in that session, have not been answered.

It is important to highlight that the election of José Ismael Peña as rector of the National University generated controversy, especially after surpassing Leopoldo Múnera, the candidate supported by the President of the Republic.

This dispute caused Múnera to announce his civil disobedience and motivated a group of students to start a strike, a situation that has escalated to include direct actions such as the occupation of the Rectorate headquarters.

 
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