Rama: Spending on education will not be 5% of GDP!

Rama: Spending on education will not be 5% of GDP!
The government cannot deliver one of the requests that students have made, concerning an increase of spending in education to 5% of GDP. During a meeting with students of the Tirana University of Agriculture, the head of the government pledged yesterday that tuition fees for Bachelor studies will be cut in half, while making it clear that education budget will not increase to 5% of Gross Domestic Product.

Commenting on the reduction of the fee, the Prime Minister announced that at the start of next year, the government will fully subsidize tuition fees for visually impaired persons. Meanwhile, during the first year, all students will benefit a 50% discount on tuition fees, but during the second year, they need to have good results to benefit it. Rama said that taxpayers will not pay for students who obtain poor results.

Meanwhile, as far as the 5% request is concerned, Rama said that this is one of the points that should be discussed with students, because at the moment this is impossible and that several years are needed in order for this to become possible.

“There are also specific things which need to be discussed and this is the best moment to analyze everything. For instance, let us take the demand which concerns the taxpayers’ contribution for education. This cannot be done. It’s impossible to spend the 5% of GDP today, next year or even in three years time”, Rama said.


Meanwhile, during the meeting there were also exchanges of remarks between the Prime Minister and students. After the meeting started, one of the students said that they were told they were going to meet the dean and not the PM. The student left the room and was applauded by other students.

PM Rama said that he’s ready to address the students’ demands through dialogue.

Rama compared the students’ protest with the protest held in December 28 years ago, saying that there’s no comparison between them. He said that at that time, students risked a lot with their protest and that their main demand was to be able to speak freely. “It’s been 14 days that you just shout and don’t speak. There’s no comparison between your protest and the protest organized by those December students, who rose against a regime who could use tanks against them. All they asked for was an opportunity to be heard. They came face to face with the most senior representatives of the dictatorship regime and in the end, they won. I know that we may not agree, but if we don’t speak, we won’t be able to solve anything. You’re risking to lose everything that you created”, Rama said.

In response to the numerous accusations which have been made, the head of the government denied rumours saying that private universities have obtained public funds. “Not even a cent has been given to private universities from the state budget and the law on Higher Education does not permit this. The law does not permit public funding for private universities”, PM Rama declared.

Meanwhile, the previous day, the PM held another meeting with students and professors of the Faculty of Geology and Mines.



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