Around 8 pm, in the dimly lit Largo das Heroinas, in Luanda, the students staged the burial of higher education to the sound of whistles and shouting “Minister, out!” And “Tuition fees, no!” with some candles contributing to the tone of a funeral.
“According to the information that has come to us, the decision is being discussed by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation and will be in its final phase, with only the signature of the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, to be implemented and the kickbacks become a reality”, lamented Adilson Manuel, 22.
The student at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Agostinho Neto University is concerned and says that introducing tuition fees can be a “catastrophe” for students currently attending public higher education, as many will see their commitment to higher education committed to the difficult economic and financial situation of the country.
“We are in a very complicated situation because as students we do not have a state guarantee that there will be a grant to support us. The government does not guarantee this, it only sees the student as a source of income. We have no money to pay fees, we are poor", he said.
Teresa Luther King, 23, has already finished high school and is aiming to become a university student and pursue Social Services later this year. But if you have to pay tuition, that will not come true: “Most Angolan students and youth are unemployed. Where do we get the money to make the payment?”, he asks.
“We are not to blame for the situation the country is in, we are not the ones to extort the state coffers,” the young woman continued, objecting to having to pay for a right she considers her own.
For Arantes Kivuvu, 26, who attends the Faculty of Arts, tuition fees “will create a barrier to students” and force many dropouts. “I'm here to say, 'No to tuition fees in higher education'” he emphasized, adding that they will continue to put pressure on the executive not to sign the decree legitimizing the introduction of tuition fees.