Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
-- From Article 26 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
On April 21, 2010, students at the University of Puerto Rico went on strike to oppose budget cuts. The strike continues and has spread to 10 out of the 11 campuses in the UPR system. Furthermore, our own nation's state and city universities face budget cuts and tuition hikes. Without affordable tuition it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain the higher education that is so desperately needed in our changing economy. We are in danger of going back to the not-so-distant past when higher education was for the elites of our society. Sadly, our job market is not going back to the industrialized age but will continue moving forward into the information age where higher education is a necessity.
Please pray for the safety of UPR students and that as a global society we would value our future enough to educate it.
For more information and to hear a first hand account of the protest, listen to the Democracy Now-Student Strike at University of Puerto Rico Report
Onleilove Alston is a native Brooklynite and student at Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University School of Social Work. She is a member of the Special Communion Blogging Collective. Her personal blog is Esther's Call and she worships at Metro Hope Church.