In November 2012, members of the Popular University Movement and students of the Paraguayan National University and the private Catholic University joined hands to protest against the new Law of Higher Education (LES).
The new law aims to privatize education and offer courses that will train students to work in multinational companies to generate profits for two giant transnationals, Monsanto and Rio Tinto.
Student protesters such as Romilio Gonzalez and Johana Orihuela asserted that curricula in Paraguay should educate Paraguayans about their history, their culture, and their scientific research, not train Paraguayans to produce for profit-oriented multinational companies.
The second largest concern is the price of education. Education should not be a commodity for Paraguayans. Today, students at the National University pay US $100-300 for each course and US $50-100 for each exam.
These high costs deter students from enrolling. Of 300 million young people in Paraguay, only 6% are enrolled in university, and 96% of that 6% go to private universities, while the rest go to the public university.
The new law will centralize education and make it extremely exclusive. Rural people interested in education will have to earn money and pay for private education.
The protesters, following successful examples in Chile, demand that free education should be a right for students in Paraguay. Consequently, all young people can access education and develop skills and knowledge that will benefit their own country.