Chileans on Strike for Public Education

Santiago de Chile, Jun 30 (Prensa Latina) Chilean students, teachers, academics and workers walked out on a national strike Thursday to demand public, free education.

Protesters gathered on Alameda Avenue in the capital to stop for-profit education and to show disagreement with privatization policies promoted by the right-wing government.

The Chilean Students Federation, Teachers’ Association, and the Central Labor Federation were set to lead a march at 11:00 local time from Plaza Italia to Plaza de los Heroes.

Similar demonstrations were planned in the cities of Arica, Iquique, Antofagasta, La Serena, Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Concepcion and Valdivia, among others.

The main objective is to set into a motion a project for education that is constitutionally guaranteed as a universal social right at all levels, based on a public, free, quality education.

Chilean left-wing forces such as the Communist Party, the Chilean Christian Left Party, “Juntos Podemos Mas” party and the Allende Socialism Party will also join the march.

Also on the list are environmental groups such as Green Action, Patagonia without Dams, and officials from the Ministry of Education.

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2 responses to “Chileans on Strike for Public Education

  1. To be more specific, and to translate adequately this news report (I know, there are lots of untranslatable things), in Chile there is a nationwide school voucher system that replaces public education entirely. Instead of state universities, you have shadow tolls paid by the government to universities, and they compete for students according to their results in a nationwide SAT. This system is cementing a fine-grained social segmentation like nowhere else in the world, where kids are carefully segregated by their parents’ income, and the OECD has recommended its change. Government is deaf, because Milton Friedman himself oversaw the implementation of this system in 1976, and Pinochet imposed it with weapons and murders. Piñera’s government loves Friedman’s policies, listens daily to bulletins of The Heritage Foundation, carefully translated by a local think-tank called “Libertad y Desarrollo”, and, according to OECD, it’s condemning our people to a income distribution that is worse than some Africa’s countries.

    Well, students are fighting the school voucher, are fighting the tertiary education financing system (shadow toll + high tuition fees + bank loaning), and only want public education. Nothing more and nothing less. It’s logical that this demonstration has powered unrest against Piñera, and that shouldn’t surprise you. What surprises me is how deaf Piñera is, and how it denies to question the foundations of this ideologically designed system.

  2. Pingback: Chileans on Strike for Public Education | colareboenglish | Best Education Website

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