It is the first days of class at the National Autonomous University of Honduras Sula Valley campus and the students are going to class and sitting down on the floor. In Building 2 where classes of philosophy, sociology, and others are taught this is a recurring scene.
If one goes to the floor where psychology classes are taught students can’t sit down due to a lack of space which causes them to stand and take notes on the notebooks they are perpetually carrying. With each academic period, the story is the same in UNAH-VS. One of the causes of this is a lack of seats but the bigger problem is a lack of professors. There are hundreds of students who end up on a waiting list and because there aren’t professors when the semester begins and the adding period comes to a close there are more students in classes than there ought to be and some have to accept having classes on the floor. Wednesday afternoons one of the philosophy classes has more than 50 students.
Department heads open only a few classes pertaining to the most sought-after subjects because they lack the right number of professors to adequately teach these classes according to various students.
Larissa Mendez who is enrolled as a psychology student began with everyone else but never imagined she’d have to go to class and stand for hours. “The authorities should go to work and solve these problems.” She says. Students who were reached out to for comment recognize the work done by the university officials to improve the infrastructure & staffing problems faced by the university but say that university officials need to focus and hammer out a solution to this because it is a recurring problem that reliably reappears each academic period.
Authorities representing UNAH-VS accept that these problems have persisted throughout a long time but also hope that we acknowledge that it’s difficult to solve this problem with the tiny budget given to the university.
Ada Cantarero, academic vice-director of the university argues that “resolving this problem isn’t in our capabilities, we depend on the attitudes taken by the University City”. In 2017 the National Congress assigned 6,175,000 lempiras to UNAH, of which 8% went to UNAH-VS (494,000). “We’ll see how we can possibly resolve this problem felt by and impacting our students.” Says Ada Cantarero.
In the campus there are some 800 professors and the coordinator of Human Resources, Elba Ruth Gomez says that there aren’t a lack of professors: “They are willing to deal with the physical space and the demand, and this period always has a significant demand in general classes thanks in part to the number of students.” Currently UNAH-VS is looking at class number and the numbers of students to decide if they ought to hire more professors.