It is a 10-year compulsory school in Colombia. Until
1990, the country had a centralized education system.
Following a comprehensive reorganization and
regionalization in 1990, a national education plan was
developed which suggests that much can be decided at local
level. The language of instruction is Spanish. Only
scattered attempts have been made to prepare educational
materials in local Native American languages. Large parts of
the education program are private, 18% in primary and 32% in
high school (2000). There are major differences in the
provision of schools in cities and in the countryside. Check
topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE
as well high schools in the country of Colombia.
The elementary school is 5 years old and the pupils are
6-11 years old. About. 90% of children start school, but
only approx. 70% complete 5 years. The high school is 6
years (4 + 2), and approx. 40% of the relevant age group
starts in upper secondary education.
The country has 265 higher education institutions, of
which approx. 50 is university. More than 60% of higher
education institutions are private. The largest university
is the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá,
founded in 1867.
Illiteracy is estimated to be approx. 8% (2000), with
large regional differences between city and country.
1960 Colombia's guerrillas are formed
During La Violencia, the Communist Party had also
established its own guerrilla forces, which up to the
mid-1960's controlled lands administered as independent
peasant republics. The Communist Party formally established
Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC,
Colombia's Revolutionary Armed Forces) in 1964. They were
led by Manuel Marulanda - "Tiro Fijo" (sniper) - and Jacobo
Arenas. At about the same time, the priest Camilo Torres
Restrepo was one of the initiators of the formation of the
Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN, National Liberation
Army). Torres was killed in combat the following year. The
ELN was procuban while the FARC oriented itself toward the
Soviet Union. At this time, relations between Cuba and the
Soviet Union were very strained.
The peasant guerrillas were met by "self-defense groups",
armed and paid for by the landlords with support from the
military and sometimes foreign mercenaries. Without ever
admitting it, the military also created paramilitary groups
that have carried out massive human rights abuses on the
civilian population and have been condemned by organizations
such as Amnesty International.
In 1974, the newly elected Liberal President, Alfonso
López Michelsen (also of Danish descent) sought to pay more
attention to popular demands, but strong economic interests
caused this policy to collapse. In 1978, only 30% of the
unemployed received social benefits, and in rural areas the
level was down to 11%. Currency income was predominantly
dependent on the price of coffee in the US and Germany,
which declined respectively. 20% and 36% of Colombia's
Bogotá, Santafé de Bogotá, capital of Colombia, 7.2m. residents (2005).
Bogotá lies like a narrow belt on a plateau at 2600 m altitude in central
Colombia and is bounded to the east by a mountain ridge that rises 600 m above
North of the old town, which still retains part of its colonial character,
lies the so-called International Center with banks and offices in tall, modern
buildings. From here, modern residential areas extend into a narrow belt to the
north, while the poorer parts of the city have spread to the highlands to the
south. Gradually, the city has also grown to the west, with industrial areas, an
airport, a bus terminal and a large part of Colombia's state administration.
In the central and northern parts of the city, supermarkets and shopping
centers have replaced the open markets and the banks are lying side by side. The
narrow streets and few thoroughfares create increasing traffic chaos, the closer
to the center one gets and the air pollution is considerable.
Violence and robberies - from minor assaults to bomb attacks - are widespread
in the city, and not only banks, but also hotels, larger businesses, carriages
and closed residential areas are equipped with sharply armed private guards.
In the 1950's and especially in the 1960's, the city's development accelerated,
so the public service sector has had difficulty keeping up. Bogotá accounts for
about a quarter of Colombia's industrial production, primarily food, chemical
and pharmaceuticals, textiles, machinery and cars.
The well-established Gold Museum, which contains jewelry and other gold items
from before the Spanish colonization, is one of the most important of its kind
in the world.
Bogotá was founded in 1538 by the Spanish conqueror Gonzalo Jiménez de
Quesada (1496-1579) and in 1740 became the capital of the Viceroy of Nueva
Grenada. During the colonial period, the University of San Tomás was founded in
1580 and the Universidad Pontificia Javeriana in 1622, and both are still
In 1810 the city tried to regain its independence, in 1816 Spanish troops
captured it, but already three years after that Simón Bolívar expelled the last
Spanish viceroy from the city.
In the new independent South America, Bogotá became the capital of Simon
Bolívar's Greater Colombia, which included present-day Colombia, Panama, Ecuador
and Venezuela, but which was already disintegrating before his death in 1830.
Then Bogotá became the capital of Colombia.
In 1948, opposition politician Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was assassinated in
Bogotá, which became the beginning of one of South America's most extensive
uprisings, "bogotazo," which destroyed several of the city's buildings and
developed into a ten-year civil war. The uprising occurred at the same time as
the formation of the Organization of American States at the 9th International
Conference of American States, the Bogotá Conference.