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University march on Assembly brings conflict and  reform agreement

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University march on Assembly brings conflict and  reform agreement


Posted 22/10/2019

A march to the National Assembly by,  faculty and students of the University of Panama (UP) on Tuesday, October 22 ended with a confrontation with riot police and an agreement that articles in the constitutional reform package that led to the protest would be withdrawn.

According to the rector of the UP, Eduardo Flores, after a meeting with Assembly leaders, a unanimous and firm commitment was acquired that the two articles that caused the controversy will be eliminated.

The university is opposed to the approval of article 99 that replaces the role of the University of Panama of inspection by a higher accreditation and quality body. In addition, they questioned the distribution of State contributions to private universities.

Although it had been announced that the protest would be peaceful, it went out of control when students reached the Assembly and found the doors closed and found their way blocked by Assembly staff.

Crowd Control Police  arrived to reinforce security

A letter signed by Flores expresses that part of the dissatisfaction with the approved has to do with the modification of articles of the Constitution, which eliminates the duty of the State to provide the indispensable budget to public universities, which provides them with economic autonomy.

“In their replacement, it is proposed to provide financial assistance equally to official and private universities, which ignores the social nature of both institutions, since the official ones allow access to low-income students, while private ones are for-profit educational companies.

" It is inadmissible for the State to finance these businesses and facilitate greater profits for their owners, " says the letter.

"There was a unanimous commitment that the two articles that touch the University of Panama will be eliminated,"  said Flores said after leaving a meeting with the deputies of the Government Commission of the Assembly.

It was also confirmed by the president of the Assembly, Marcos Castillero, in a tweet from the official account of the legislative body.



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