Puerto Rico’s Fight For Accessible Education

Picture provided by Silvia Carlo, a University of Puerto Rico student

Alba Rosa/ Contributing Writer

Puerto Rico’s Senate approved a new law to eliminate the outstanding debt on the island. In it, pensions and funding would be cut in institutions that need it the most. The main university branch, the University of Puerto Rico, will suffer the most devastation.

Named PC1003 (Law 53-2021), this law received criticism from people all over the island due to its audacious nature. The people of Puerto Rico predict that it’ll hurt their economy. 

UPR’s 11 campuses will receive $500 million as funding; $45 million given to each branch. According to the island’s UPR students, the amount will not be enough. This is seen with the slow but inevitable closure of clubs and accreditations lost.

Strikes led by UPR students and professors took place throughout the island to protest the decision made by their Senate. However, their primary area of focus would be steps away from the Capitol’s entrance in Old San Juan.

Decades of irresponsible and corrupt governors in office led to outstanding debt. It made the Caribbean island and its people suffer the consequences. For years, they’ve been approximately $70 billion in debt. 

It’s natural for lawmakers to issue a change in their economy. However, this is not the way.

As a Puerto Rican living in Miami, I’m saddened to hear all of these stories from back home. 

There’s little to no coverage on the situation, which makes it frustrating. Especially for Boricuas living out of state. They have no idea of how this law could affect students back home.

Pulso Estudiantil is the only Puerto Rican news site that’s covering what’s happening with UPR,” said Karla Sosa, a student from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras branch. 

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi did release a statement regarding the protests occurring on the island. “$500 million should be seen as a step towards the right direction,” he said in a conference. 

It shows how little he cares. 

I speak from a place of privilege because I moved to Florida to study journalism at FIU. Our university receives appropriate funding from the government and donations from people like Mackenzie Scott

Although I recognize how lucky I am, I’m truly devastated by how the education system in Puerto Rico will be affected if something isn’t done. This is why I stand with my former classmates, friends and family that fight for accessible education. I can only imagine how exhausting it is to fight for educational rights in this day and age. 

But I watch at a distance and feel pride in my island. It fights for its rights constantly and plans on getting it no matter what.

DISCLAIMER:

The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community

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