100,000 Chilean students march for education reform

15:53, July 01, 2011      

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Protesters try to escape the water cannon during a demonstration in the city of Santiago, capital of Chile, June 30, 2011. Tens of thousands of Chilean students held a protest demanding education reform and clashed with police on the streets of Santiag Thursday. (Xinhua/Victor Rojas)

Some 100,000 Chilean students marched on Thursday in Santiago demanding more government investment in public education.

The students marched along the main avenue of Santiago and stopped in front of La Moneda Palace, headquarters of the government, and the Education Ministry.

The march was summoned by the University Students Federation and the the College of Professors and consisted mainly of university and high school students, as well as some teachers and workers.

The students demanded the government increase budget spending in public education, and reform the financing system for students from low-income families.

The teachers were worried about a progressive privatization process of public education.

Meanwhile, high school students were demanding an end to all private schools and asking the Education Ministry to manage the sector.

The students reportedly seized 300 schools across the country.

President Sebastian Pinera has offered an education revitalization plan including financial support worth 75 million U.S. dollars to public universities. However, the amount was considered insufficient by students.

Demonstrations for education reform have been intensified since April, when tens of thousands of students took to the streets across Chile.

Source: Xinhua

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