The students in question left Cape Verde with the promise that they would receive a €97 monthly housing subsidy and a €3.50 daily food allowance, but have not received anything since the beginning of the current school year. “They’re living in houses rented by the school and during the week they eat in the cafeteria. On weekends and holidays, they’re on their own,” tells the father of one of the students sent by the São Vicente municipal chamber to a professional technical school in Santa Camba Dão, near the city of Viseu.
São Vicente mayor Isaura Gomes, who recently returned from a visit to Portugal, said that she is concerned about the situation of these students, affirming that the European Union reformulated its support program for students at professional training schools, a change that resulted in the termination of the monthly subsidies. Some of the Cape Verdean students are getting by with help from their parents, but there are others who are undergoing serious difficulties, according to the mayor.
In light of this situation, Gomes has decided not to send any more students to professional schools in Portugal through its cooperation accords with Portuguese institutions until the situation improves. On Wednesday, the mayor promised to act to help those who are already there and whose parents do not have the means to provide them with the necessary financial support.