UNITA, the biggest opposition party in Angola, considered today that this year the situation of higher education teachers, who recently suspended a strike, “only got worse” and will ask for more funds for the sector in the State Budget.
The parliamentary group of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) today received representatives of the National Union of Higher Education Teachers (Sinpes), the second meeting held this year and stated that, from February until now, the situation of these professionals “only got worse”, said the vice president of the bench, Mihaela Weba.
According to the opposition deputy, the demands of the teachers have not yet all been heeded.
Higher education teachers in Angola suspended a strike that had started on October 24 this year, after reaching an agreement with the employer on two of the four breaking points in the claim book, with a total of eight complaints.
Mihaela Weba said she was concerned about the treatment “which is not the most dignified” that has been given to teachers, especially those in higher education, stressing that this professional class is the “support of any society that wants to be developed”.
The deputy highlighted “the demands they make in terms of decent wages, in terms of career progression, continuous training, funds for scientific research, especially in these issues, and also in terms of infrastructure”.
“There is disinvestment in the education sector and in higher education, the laboratories do not work, we have professors who cannot get their works published due to lack of financial conditions, there is effectively a disincentive and a lack of investment in this sector”, he pointed out.
According to Mihaela Weba, UNITA has “a firm commitment to the sector”, defending that education and the higher education subsystem should have a higher share in the General State Budget (OGE) to ensure decent salaries for teachers, research science, career progression of teachers and their continuous training, as well as the issue of infrastructure.
“And we are concerned, because Angola is a country that wants, in the eyes of the world, to appear modern, we want to have satellites, but we do not want to invest in science and technology, which is extremely serious”, he lamented.
For the deputy, the suspension of the teachers’ strike does not indicate that the problems are solved, but “common sense”, which, she stressed, is also necessary on the part of the Government.
“Because we all know that this year the executive will have a budget of 11 billion dollars [sensivelmente o mesmo em euros]of the surplus in the price of a barrel of oil and, therefore, there are conditions, and the President of the Republic has already said that this year will be a surplus year, which means that what university professors are demanding is possible to be fulfilled”, he stressed. .
In turn, the secretary general of Sinpes, Eduardo Peres Alberto, said that the union’s fight is for “improvement of the quality of higher education in Angola”.
“We have been defending that higher education is the guarantor of the stability of any nation or is the golden key for any nation that wants to be able to work well, only quality education can help the development of any nation and especially in the context of competition of nations”, he underlined.
Eduardo Peres Alberto stressed that the visit by the parliamentary group took place “at a good time”, at a time when the strike was temporarily suspended “as a matter of patriotism”.
“We are good patriots, but if we do not find the solutions until the negotiating round to take place in the first half of February, you can believe that if we resume the strike on February 27th, this could compromise the academic year 2022/2023, because we do not want to be complicit in the poor quality of higher education in Angola”, he said.