NEWS IN ENGLISH – Reitor of UFF says Quotas Law is a step backwards

22/10/2012 09:04

Isabela Vieira       Reporter Agência Brasil

Rio de Janeiro – The reitor of the Federal Fluminense University (“UFF”), which is located in Rio de Janeiro, Roberto Salles, says the Quotas Law ("Lei das Cotas") is a step backwards. He pointed out that UFF, besides setting aside 12.5% of places for students who have gone through high school in any public school, will have to separate 10% of the 9,600 places it opens annually to be filled by students from municipal and state high schools.

“Everybody knows that federal high schools, such as Pedro II, the military high schools and technical schools are as good as private schools. But what chance are students from state and municipal high schools going to have when it comes to competing? What this law does is make life difficult for these students,” declared Salles. 

Salles criticized the law for being complicated, as well, pointing out that it calls for crosschecking data on student family income along with racial profiles. “This calls for some very sophisticated calculations. Even after reading the law, I have questions,” the reitor said.

Salles was also concerned about the cost of the assistance programs that will be necessary in order to keep quota students in the university. There will have to be scholarships, meals, transportation and remedial classes that will cost a lot of money, he said. Salles declared that he was in favor of tripling the budget of the National Student Assistance Program to cover those costs. Fnally, he said he could foresee the need to modify the school’s entrance test (“vestibular”).

Allen Bennett – translator/editor The News in English

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