Govt. Proposal Insufficient, Say Chilean Students

Santiago, Chile, Aug 2 (Prensa Latina) Proposals made by Education Minister Felipe Bulnes are insufficient to meet Chilean students´ demands, said the president of the student board of the University of Santiago, Camilo Ballestero.

“It is not an injection of resources we are talking about. We want a structural reform with equitable access”, he told the national TVN.

He added that the 21-point package presented last night by Bulnes “again left out elements like the cost of education, and Chile remains one of the countries with the highest fees in the world.”

He admitted, though, that the attention being given to their demands is a step forward.

President of the School of Professors Jaime Fajardo said the proposal is far from offering a solution, as no point envisages an end of for-profit education and a demunicipalization without restrictions, with the State in charge of the school system.

Bulnes said that he hopes that the package of solutions “ends the strikes and protests, starting the work to arrive at a wider agreement.”

More than 30 secondary students remain on hunger strike for 15 days now, demanding free, quality education.

Medical students of La Frontera University, in Temuco, central Chile, have also joined the protests.

Meanwhile, high schools remain occupied, and classes have not started yet, while the secondary sector called for mobilization on Thursday to express disagreement with the government proposal.

Federations of university students confirmed that they will present their proposal to authorities on Friday after the package of measures presented by Bulnes is discussed by the students, professors and other sectors.

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