Students defend that legislation is essential to guarantee the right to education – Photo: José Aldenir / Agora RN
On the 29th, the Quota Law completed a decade of existence. The policy has made it possible for Potiguar students to enter public higher education for at least 7 years. The Law, which reserves half of the vacancies in federal institutes and universities of higher education for low-income, black and/or disabled students, is full of recognition by RN students.
The legislation establishes that 50% of the vacancies in federal institutes and universities must be reserved for students who attended high school entirely in public schools. Among this group, half must have a per capita family income of up to 1.5 times the minimum wage; and blacks, browns, indigenous people and people with disabilities must be granted a number of vacancies equivalent to the shares they occupy in the population of each state.
Agora RN brings some reports from students who share the idea that access to university through the Quota Law is essential to guarantee the right to education for disadvantaged people.
“If it weren’t for the quotas, I wouldn’t have made it”
Studying “what I always wanted” at the university was possible for Kleitianne Macêdo, 22, because she fit some criteria of the Quota Law. In addition to having studied all of high school in the public school system, the young woman also entered through racial and low-income criteria. Since 2019, the student is studying Design at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN).
Since elementary school, Kleitianne had to deal with known difficulties in public education, such as strikes and the lack of adequate structure in schools. Despite this, she managed to enter a technical and integral school to attend high school. Afterwards, she entered the public university: an achievement that she claims would not have been possible without the quotas.
“The quota system was very important. I studied at a technical and full-time high school and in my final year I needed to deliver a TCC [Trabalho de Conclusão de Curso]. So I didn’t have time to take a preparatory course for the entrance exam”, she reports. “If it weren’t for the quotas, in fact I wouldn’t have been able to get into UFRN. My mother always said that for those who are poor, one of the ways to ascend socially is through education”.
“I would have given up”. Black and having studied high school in a public school, Ravana Assunção, 22, is a Journalism student at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), and telling her experience she reports that the quota policy has been important to make the most diverse public university. “Entering an environment and seeing that there are other black people and people from public schools like you gives the student security and comfort. Before we didn’t have that,” she comments.
The student claims that, without the Quota Law, her path after high school would be different. “If I hadn’t gone to university, I would have given up on my studies and gone to the job market to help my family with the income,” she says.
Quota Law undergoes revision after ten years of operation
The text of the legislation provides that this year the Quota Law will undergo a review to analyze the functioning of public policy during the last decade. It should be discussed whether the policy will be expanded, kept as it is, or reduced. But, according to the National Association of Directors of Federal Institutions of Higher Education (Andifes), even if it does not enter the Congressional Education Commission agenda this year, the Law will not cease to exist.
(*Supervised by journalist Nathallya Macedo)