The economic crisis caused by the expansion of COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the tertiary education system. Many families have lost their source of income or pre-funded their employment status, making it impossible to pay tariffs in university and technical-professional institutions.
And it is precisely in these latter entities that the effects of the crisis are felt more strongly, since in the professional technical higher education (ESTP) sector students with higher rates of vulnerability, so most of them must work to pay for the tariff.
In this regard, it must be emphasized that today more than half of people entering higher education choose technical and professional, non-university careers, which is why it is essential that government-led funding measures, in order to alleviate the effects of the emergency, should focus on people rather than institutions. We value the measures taken by the Executive Branch, as they mean concrete support in times of need.
However, this crisis reiterates to us again that historical paradigms and transfers of resources to higher education must be reviewed, the focus should be on the student-citizen, who expects changes and support from the government and lawmakers in response to the emergence and future needs. This should therefore be reflected in the Nation’s Budget Act for 2021, so that the most vulnerable sectors of the population – which in terms of the conduct of higher education show a great concentration in the professional technical subsector – do not further affect life projects through which they seek precisely to emerge from their precarious situation.
Sergio Morales Diaz
CFT San Agustin