Chilean students fight for free education


This video from the USA says about itself:

Camila Vallejo and Noam Titelman | Student Leaders Speak Out

On Monday, October 15, 2012, “Student Leaders Speak Out: A Public Conversation Between Protagonists from Hemispheric Student Struggles in Chile, Quebec, and New York” was hosted at the Graduate Center, CUNY by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Mass rallies for free education dominate election year debate

Friday 12 April 2013

Tens of thousands of students flooded the streets of Chile on Thursday in a huge demonstration to demand free education.

After two years of student marches that have paralysed Chile’s major cities and generated expectations of change, the crisis over education reform has become a key electoral issue ahead of November’s presidential election.

Thursday’s protests were mostly peaceful. Students waved flags, chanted slogans and danced in the streets in a festive atmosphere.

Student organisers said crowd numbers in the Chilean capital Santiago reached about 150,000.

Local media backed the estimate, calling it one of the largest marches in the city for more than two decades.

The size of the protest showed the strength of the student movement in an election year, said student leader Camila Vallejo.

“This symbolises that the student and social movement didn’t go home and that that the movement is here to stay,” said Ms Vallejo.

The protests aim at President Sebastian Pinera, whose government is committed to fee-paying education and is focusing on financing school loans at lower rates.

But students say that’s not enough, because the system still fails them with poor public schools, expensive private universities, unprepared teachers and unaffordable loans.

Chile’s higher education charges are among the toughest in the world, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

While Scandinavian families pay less than 5 per cent of the cost of education and US families pay a little over 40 per cent, Chilean households must pay more than 75 per cent.

Student leaders want to change the tax system so that the rich pay considerably more.

They also want the state put back in control of the privatised public universities.

They say change will only come when the private sector is regulated and education is no longer a for-profit business.

Chilean former president Michelle Bachelet began her campaign for November’s presidential election on Saturday: here.

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10 thoughts on “Chilean students fight for free education

  1. Chilean Police Suppressed Student March

    Santiago de Chile, May 28 (Prensa Latina) The military police (Carabineros) suppressed today with water cannon and tear gas hundreds of Chilean students trying to assert their right to march through Alameda Avenue.
    The students would march to demand the government of Sebastian Piñera profound changes in the country’s educational model.

    The demonstration was called by the Coordinating Assembly of Secondary Students and Coordinator of Secondary Students and supported by the university.

    Until this morning the movementâ�Ös leaders and the metropolitan authorities had not agreed on the route of the new manifestation.

    Santiagoâ�Ös city council had refused permission for students to demonstrate through the Alameda Avenue, the main avenue in Santiago, considering that it would alter the normal rhythm of the city.

    Meanwhile, the protesters insisted on doing so by the Alameda, believing that the refusal of the authorities sought to conceal the thrust of the student movement in Chile that took rise in 2011.

    Under Secretary of Education Fernando Rojas criticized the studentsâ�Ö insistence on marching through the Alameda Avenue and said they should accept the route authorized by the authorities.

    “High school students demand to march through the Alameda not because we are capricious or intransigent, but because the Alameda is the emblematic area of social struggles in Chile,” student stressed in a statement.

    Secondary students called for this march after the speech of May 21 when Piñera made the ultimate balance of his administration and in which there were no announcements regarding their demands.

    Among other requirements, students call for “free school pass during all year, improvements in facilitiesâ�Ö infrastructure and schools reconstruction due to the earthquake of February 27, 2010.

    sgl/isa/ls/otf

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  2. President issues eviction warning

    CHILE: President Sebastian Pinera warned protesters occupying dozens of secondary schools on Tuesday that they risk being evicted.

    He said the students may be removed by force to allow the schools’ use as polling stations for June 30 presidential elections.

    Students took over the schools two weeks ago to demand education reform.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/

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  3. Students and trade unions co-operate in nationwide demonstration

    CHILE: Students and trade unions co-operated in a huge nationwide demonstration numbering more than 100,000 protesters demanding education reforms on Wednesday.

    Teachers, dock workers and copper miners joined students in the protest, which was timed to influence Sunday’s presidential primaries.

    Protesters demanded a wider distribution of Chile’s copper wealth and a renationalisation programme for the education system.

    Student leaders also want to change the tax system so the rich pay more.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/

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  5. CHILEAN President Michelle Bachelet sacked her education minister Nicolas Eyzaguirre on Saturday in response to mass protests by students.

    Mr Eyzaguirre, previously an IMF adviser and right-wing finance minister, was replaced by Adriana Delpiano — linked to former president Ricardo Lagos.

    Despite the change, Ms Bachelet suggested that the government would press on with its educational reforms.

    Tens of thousands of students took to the streets last Thursday to voice their opposition to the plans, which have provoked a indefinite strike by teachers.

    The Bill now being debated would rejig teachers’ salaries and force them to spend more time planning and in meetings — or face the sack.

    The government has pledged to make secondary education free by 2016, but students and teachers say that promises to end private profit in the sector have not been met and have demanded the government sit down for talks.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-997c-Chile-Bachelet-sacks-rightwinger-but-pushes-on-with-reforms#.VZENEUaw51Q

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