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News > Costa Rica

Costa Rican Teachers Protest Education Reforms

  • Teachers reject the bills named

    Teachers reject the bills named "Dual Education and Dual Technical Training." | Photo: EFE/Archive

Published 25 June 2019

As teachers are on strike for the fifth day in a row, the anti-neoliberal movement spread across the country, according to media.

Teachers affiliated with the Association of Secondary School Teachers APSE marched Tuesday in the capital toward the National Assembly, protesting against the neoliberal policies affecting the public sector that will criminalize strikes.

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"The protest aims to show the public that the government and most legislators are attempting to criminalize protestors and dissolve unions, as well as reducing wages of public servants, especially in the education sector," APSE President Melida Cedeño told reporters Tuesday.

Demonstrators have been on a work stoppage for five days showing their ire against the Essential Services bill, the Dual Education bill and the Public Employment bill.

Cedeño emphasized the strike had received support from across all regions of the country and condemned the education proposals that would declare education fundamental and all strikes by education workers illegal.

Teachers reject the bills named "Dual Education and Dual Technical Training," arguing it is an attempt to put education at the service of the private sector, creating a low-cost labor force.

In addition to the teacher protests, a group of demonstrators, small-fisherman among them, allegedly stormed the president's palace in San Jose and threw an explosive towards the head of state's residence.

According to AFP, the demonstrators launched a low-impact explosive along with stones at the palace. 

The artesenal fishermen want the government to not implement a value-added tax set to go into force July 1.

President Carlos Alvarado says his administration is open to dialogue with the fishing sector that is a major source of income for the Central American nation, but that violence isn't acceptable.

"This won't be done with violence, repression, knocking down gates, damaging public infrastructure with stones or dynamite, which can harm many people ," Alvarado said. "That is not the Costa Rican way.  W will not accept this," added the president. One demonstrator was reportedly beaten over the head.

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