The first CAPAZ online school is underway following a successful call for applications
The CAPAZ School of Online Courses (ECV) provides an innovative online academic offer targeting a variety of audiences and guided by professors from prestigious universities and institutions in Colombia, Germany, and other countries. It runs ten free short courses, most of which will start in February and March of this year. It will also run open sessions for interested parties who have not been selected to attend the courses.
A successful call for applications
This was the case, for example, for the course on music, violence and peace in Latin America, coordinated Professor Rafael Quishpe by Universidad del Rosario, with 268 applications received, of which 40 were selected. The course will include five open sessions, which will deal with the case studies covered on the course. “Being faithful to our initial spirit, we selected professional musicians, cultural managers, social activists, educators and university students. Such a diversity of trajectories will make for a very interesting course”, asserts course coordinator.
The ECV was created as a joint effort between CAPAZ partner universities to consolidate the CAPAZ research lines on peacebuilding practices; transitional justice and human rights; and peace, conflicts and territorial reconfigurations. The programme offers innovative methodologies through digital platforms, materials and quality content, based on disciplinary diversity and focusing on its impact on civil society. “The courses available are varied and dynamic, taught by highly qualified instructors. They are also free of charge, carry academic certification, and are open for enrolment to national and international students”, says CAPAZ-based ECV coordinator, María Paula Rodríguez.
The first round of ECV courses promises to strengthen academic reflection and respectful and pluralistic discussion on peacebuilding in Colombia. “The ECV represents an effort made by academia to question its role in society, while allowing society to question and debate the concepts that academia deals with” says CAPAZ Administrative Director, Carlos Nupia.
Partial progress evaluation of the courses
Two of our courses that started at the end of 2020 and in January 2021 have already been completed. We spoke with Laly Peralta, professor at Universidad del Rosario and coordinator of the course entitled: “Peace Signatories and the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition”. Thirty-three men and eighteen women former FARC-EP members and peace signatories will graduate from the first course, which ran from November 8, 2020 to February 14, 2021.
Why was the first edition of the course such a success?
For three reasons: the methodology, the impact, and the group of people involved.
How did the course adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic?
The course was run through WhatsApp, with highly personalised support. The classes are pre-recorded and hosted on YouTube. Participants consult the videos and prepare their questions, and days before the weekly synchronous meeting, the questions are sent to the teacher, who organises and helps to answer them during the meeting. Following each session, we send the lecture minutes so that those who were unable to attend can learn more about the discussion. We have distributed the course into small groups guided by educational advisors, who help solve any conceptual or technical issues. This pedagogy was developed to overcome any connectivity problems the participants may encounter. Besides addressing such problems, this approach has created a very rich dynamic of learning and discussion.
How has the course affected the group of participants?
The course has responded to a deeply felt need among ex-combatants: the public entities have not succeeded in providing effective instruction on the Comprehensive System, so that lack of knowledge, fear, and uncertainty have taken hold of individuals who have signed the peace agreement. The course served as a bridge between ex-combatants and the System, bringing them closer, and therefore providing peace of mind for them. They leave the sessions in a grateful and enthusiastic state of mind.
How did the call for applications go?
Given the former combatants’ prevailing security situation, the call was a difficult one. Overcoming mistrust was a challenge. However, we were able to link a stable group of 50 ex-combatants who have persevered through eight sessions, taking great responsibility in the tasks assigned to them. They are very excited about the certificate they will be issued by Universidad del Rosario and New York University (NYU).
ECV 2020-2021 Calendar:
(NW: Claudia Maya. English: Tiziana Laudato)