Ecuador's Constitutional Court (CC) Friday issued a verdict that allows the Economy Ministry to reduce US$98 million from the public budget assigned to universities and polytechnics.
Ecuador: Protests Against New Neoliberal Measures Amid Lockdown
The CC sentence revoked the precautionary measures that were accepted on May 12, which sought to stop the budget cuts to 32 public educational institutions in the country.
"The Economy Ministry has the power to increase or decrease the education sector's income and expenses. If it considers cutting the budget for universities, it can do so. That is a legal and ordinary measure," the judges stated.
University authorities acknowledged that the Economy Ministry cuts will mainly affect the salaries and jobs in the public education system.
Meanwhile, paradoxically, the decision of President Lenin Moreno's administration will not imply a reduction in the money that the Ecuadorian state transfers to private universities.
"We will have to reduce the staff at 31 universities in Ecuador. This is a decision that will hit our academic quality," Central University (UC) rector Fernando Sempertegui said.
Students rejected the CC sentence as they warned that this resolution does not respond to the interests of the university community.
"These measures only favor the neoliberal policies of the Moreno administration," University Students Federation (FEUE) tweeted.
"Moreno shows that education is not a priority for him," FEUE added as it called on all students to take to the streets against the budget cut on Sept. 16.