Chilean Students Demand State Education
Chilean Students attending a Cultural Event during the Protests
School students in Chile have been staging protests to demand quality education for all
Chile was the first country to use a neo-liberal education model after the illegal seizure of power by the dictator Pinochet in 1973. As a result all responsibility for managing and funding education was devolved from the national government to the municipalities. The students say this has resulted in vast disparities between the schooling on offer for those in the rich and poor areas. A spokesperson for the students said: "We want education to be the same for students everywhere, and that’s only possible if the Education Ministry manages the system and distributes the resources equally."
Students have developed a novel form of protest where they attend classes but then refuse to answer the register. In Chile this means they are marked as absent and the school funding suffers. Teachers and students have been involved in a long struggle over neo-liberal education 'reforms' in Chile, as well as a lack of funding which has seen teachers owed years of back pay. (See previous posts)