En la Universidad del Magdalena, marcha atrás en “Matrícula Cero”

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Campus de la Universidad del Magdalena en Santa Marta. Foto Universidad del Magdalena.

Los estudiantes no entienden por qué no se aceptó la propuesta del gobernador, Carlos Caicedo, para eximir del pago de matrículas a los estudiantes en el segundo semestre de 2020

José Beltrán

La actual situación, provocada por la emergencia sanitaria por la propagación del virus covid-19 logró poner en jaque a toda la sociedad sin distinción de ninguna índole, son más de cien años en los que el país no atravesaba por una crisis similar. Lo anterior deja en evidencia varios elementos, entre ellos, a destacar las ya existentes y abismales diferencias entre los miembros de una misma sociedad, así como también la fragilidad de las políticas planteadas por los gobiernos neoliberales que han dirigido el rumbo político del país, lo cual ya venía siendo producto de fuertes críticas por diferentes sectores de la sociedad colombiana, pero que hoy saltan a la vista de forma mucho más clara.

El Gobierno nacional en su afán de generar estrategias y mecanismos de contingencia ha desatado una vorágine de eventos que han terminado siendo mucho más perjudiciales que brindando algún bienestar social.

En el caso concreto de la educación superior, el Gobierno a través del Ministerio de Educación Nacional, MEN, emitió la circular No 04 del 22 de marzo pasado, donde faculta a las Instituciones de Educación Superior, IES, para culminar de forma virtual los semestres en curso e iniciar los que están en proceso de ello. Lo anterior es una muestra clara del desprecio con el cual el Estado colombiano se planta ante las IES del país, olvidando las enormes falencias que hoy en día tiene el sistema de educación, a ello se le deben adherir las carentes y precarias condiciones con las cuales deben sobrevivir la mayoría de los colombianos y colombianas.

Luego de emitir la circular mencionada en el párrafo anterior ha sido poco o nada lo que ha hecho el MEN con miras de garantizar el acceso al servicio de la educación en medio de la crisis sanitaria, dejando así todo el peso de culminación e inicio de semestre a las IES.  Muchos fueron los escenarios que se presentaron para culminar los semestres llevando casi que a la improvisación empleando un modelo de educación virtual para el cual ni los alumnos ni los maestros están preparados pero que aun así debieron afrontar.

Séptimo en pobreza

No ha terminado bien este semestre y un nuevo debate se presenta en las IES, principalmente las públicas, teniendo en cuenta el complejo estado económico por el cual atraviesan la mayoría de hogares colombianos producto de las medidas que buscan disminuir el impacto de la pandemia. Se avizora un elevado índice de deserción y por ello se presenta la incógnita ¿qué medidas deben tomar las IES para que la deserción sea mínima o inexistente? Ya en varias se han presentado y ejecutado estrategias al respecto, pero ninguna ha tenido el impacto que se desea, llegar al 0% de deserción estudiantil.

Colombia es un país que tiene una alta concentración de pobreza fruto de la desigualdad sembrada por los gobiernos que han presidido los rumbos de país. El departamento del Magdalena sin lugar a duda ha sido uno de los más afectados por esta crisis, ya que, según el último informe de pobreza multidimensional entregado por el DANE, este se ubica como el séptimo más pobre del país con un índice de 38.6% de pobreza, con una tasa de informalidad económica del 86%, que sumado a la crisis sanitaria tendrá serias incidencias en los altos índices de deserción que se presentarán para el periodo 2020 –II.

Previendo lo anterior, el actual gobernador del departamento del Magdalena, Carlos Eduardo Caicedo Omar, quien fue rector de la Universidad que lleva el mismo nombre del departamento y uno de los promotores del referendo por la educación superior pública gratuita, presentó ante el Consejo Superior una propuesta por la cual el movimiento estudiantil se ha movilizado en diversas ocasiones: “Matrícula Cero”, en este caso para el semestre 2020-II.

Este modelo de matrícula que presentó el gobernador se basaba en la reasignación de recursos que identificados previamente no iban a tener la ejecución programada, esto fruto del impacto de la pandemia. La exposición tuvo como eje el informe presupuestal de egresos de la universidad que viene con corte a 31 de marzo del presente año.

Decisión inconsulta

Con la redistribución que se plantea en la propuesta, se identificó una reducción de gastos por el orden de los 18.837.786 millones de pesos, rubro con el cual se podría cubrir el total del pago de la matrícula para el próximo semestre de los estudiantes de pregrado que pertenecen a los estratos 0, 1, 2, 3 y 4, lo cual equivale al 98% de la población estudiantil, incluso generaría un excedente.

La Universidad en total generaría un aporte de 11.593.771.378 millones de pesos y a su vez el gobernador se comprometía a gestionar 3.500.000 millones de pesos, logrando de esta forma la tan anhelada “Matrícula Cero”. Luego de eso se esperó que alguna comisión se encargara de estudiar dicha propuesta, pero lo que hubo fue una contrapropuesta del rector que buscaba dar el 50% de descuento en la matrícula a los estudiantes de pregrado. Ambas propuestas quedaron en la mesa, pero fue hasta la sesión del consejo superior pactada para el viernes 29 de mayo que se tomó una decisión, que por demás fue totalmente inconsulta principalmente con el estamento estudiantil, con el cual no se generó algún tipo de diálogo.

Culminada la sesión del consejo superior se mostró que la propuesta aprobada fue la del descuento del 50% obviando cualquier tipo de debate o disertación entre propuesta y propuesta. Como era de esperarse las voces de inconformidad por parte del estudiantado han sido de enérgico rechazo a la propuesta aprobada. En primera medida existe la queja de que para otras cosas como la realización de la semana cultural sí son tenidos en cuenta, pero para este tipo de decisiones que tienen una injerencia directa en la vida universitaria de cada uno no son llamados a construir ni concertar. Los y las estudiantes no entienden por qué negaron la propuesta del gobernador.

Hoy se avizora un escenario crítico para el estudiantado de la Universidad del Magdalena. No obstante, las organizaciones estudiantiles que hacen presencia en la universidad y el actual gobernador del departamento asumen el reto de generar nuevas discusiones y espacios que permitan lograr la meta: “Matrícula Cero”.

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