Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chile: Protests continue against education reform

Approximately 35 students were detained by police after the latest round of protests against the government’s education reform plan. Several previous marches against the General Education Law (LGE) have led to unity between students and teachers unions opposed to the program:

"The quality of public education is very poor in this country, and does not stand a chance against the interests of the rich," said Jaime Gajardo, president of Chile's National College of Teachers…

Demonstrators want President Michelle Bachelet to withdraw an education bill from Congress that replaces a law in place since the end of Chile's 1973-1990 dictatorship.

Students and teachers don't like the existing law either, but they say the new bill does not go far enough to meet their needs, and are demanding the government draw more on funds from coffers bursting with revenues from a four-year copper bonanza.

Chile’s education minister has argued that changes are necessary in order to fix inequality within the school system.

Sources- Reuters, Xinhua, Prensa Latina,

Image- The Valparaiso Times (“Police disperse student protests in Santiago.”)

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