Jesuit University in Nicaragua Suspends Classes Citing Government Funding Transfer Delays
BY ISN STAFF | August 1, 2018
The Jesuit’s Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) de Nicaragua released a statement on July 31, 2018, announcing the suspension of most of their academic programs campus activities for the month of August. The statement cited financial realities precipitated by the ongoing social unrest in the country, including lost income from academic services that could not be provided and delays in government funding being transferred from the National University Council (CNU) to the university in recent months. By constitutional mandate, dating back to the 1950’s the national government is obliged to dedicate 6% of its total budget to higher education and the CNU is responsible for its distribution. Without the needed funds, the UCA is unable to compensate the 1,350 employees (faculty, staff, etc.) that serve over 9,000 students in a variety of ways.From the beginning of the country-wide crisis in April, the UCA has played a pivotal role as a moral voice and place of safety for those calling attention to President Daniel Ortega’s attempts to minimize the social security system and subsequent state-sponsored attacks on peaceful protests and public actions. On May 30, the UCA became a refuge for defenseless protestors when thousands of people sought safety within the gates of the university. This followed a May 27 attack on the UCA by para-police that left no casualties but raised the sense of insecurity for campus leaders. As of mid-July, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission reported that 264 people had been killed since the protests began and that the “violence has intensified since the beginning of July.”
The UCA’s statement was originally published in Spanish on their social media channels. An English translation which was made provided by the Winds of Peace Foundation can be found below.
[SOURCES: Havana Times, Winds of Peace Foundation, UCA Nicaragua, The New York Times]
Thus wrote Mahatma Gandhi: “The aim of university education should be to turn out true servants of the people who will live and die for the country’s freedom.”