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Thousands of French stage protests against education reform
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08:46, December 11, 2008

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Thousands of students, teachers and parents demonstrated in the street throughout France on Wednesday to protest against the reforms announced by Education Minister Xavier Darcos.

The objective of the demonstrations includes asking government to invest in education, denouncing the 13,500 job cuts in 2009 and reforms of primary, high school and teacher training.

In Paris, hundreds of teachers, students and parents gathered at the Saint-Lazare station chanting slogans like "Students angry, we will not be done," or "In all districts in all regions, an equal right to education." Wearing caps of Santa Claus, they distributed leaflets to passersby and temporarily blocked a street.

According to police, almost 2,000 people demonstrated in Bordeaux with about 1,000 to 1,500 in Toulouse and 1,500 in Marseille. Several thousand students demonstrated in Rennes, Nantes and Cherbourg. The classes have also been disrupted in Lille and Midi-Pyrenees.

Darcos said the demonstrations are "near normal," adding that there was a "small concentration of discontent" in education.


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