Central American researchers warn that the dictatorship uses study centers to establish “a model of indoctrination rather than education.”
HAVANA TIMES – The Ortega Government in Nicaragua aims at “a model of indoctrination rather than education” with the closure of 27 private universities in the last two years, converting them into state higher education centers, according to an analysis from the Center for Transdisciplinary Studies of Central America (Cetcam) sent this Saturday, September 16, 2023 to the EFE news agency.
“The accelerated control that the Ortega-Murillo regime has been imposing on universities and other educational centers points to a model of indoctrination rather than education, in which students learn the uncontaminated ‘truth’ that the Executive has sought to impose on the entire Nicaraguan society with its speeches and narratives,” Cetcam assessed.
The goal “is for all of Nicaragua to have a single thought,” states the think tank made up of Central American researchers from different disciplines, based in Costa Rica.
“There is something else behind the confiscations of universities and it has to do with extending control to young university students,” he warned.
“Keeping young people under control”
According to this analysis, the Sandinista Government knows that “citizen discontent has spread and deepened among the entire population, but especially among the younger generations who, in addition to experiencing the harshest and most violent repression from 2018 to the present, are seeing how their future possibilities are truncated in Nicaragua.”
Young people and university students today have “extremely reduced opportunities, both in the workplace and in education, with a system that pushes them to migrate in search of better conditions for themselves and their families at the cost of separation and distance,” said Cetcam.
“In the logic of the political project of dynastic continuity of the Ortega-Murillo, these groups of young people become a threat as they are, inevitably, bearers of change,” they noted.
In that sense, Cetcam reasoned, “they have to keep them under surveillance and control so that they do not publicly express their discontent, encouraging other sectors of the population.”
“Converted into centers of indoctrination rather than higher education, the control of universities by the regime has implications for the development of the country because it directly affects the quality of higher education,” the think tank warned.
“With this, the future of the country and of future generations is seriously compromised,” they note.
Twenty-seven universities closed
According to Cetcam, Nicaraguan universities became “targets of the Ortega-Murillo repression immediately after the 2018 protests began due to the participation of students.”
“This has meant the closure of 27 private universities from December 2021 to August 2023 and it is estimated that the number of affected students now reaches almost 43,000,” including 5,000 from the Central American University (UCA), he pointed out.
The Jesuit UCA of Managua, considered one of the last bastions of freedom of thought in Nicaragua, was dissolved, and expropriated on August 17, 2023, after being accused with no evidence by the Public Ministry of being a “center of terrorism.”
The Nicaraguan Government published a day later in the Official Gazette an Interior Ministry order to strip the legal status of the UCA, granted on August 13, 1960.
*With information from EFE.