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News > Latin America

Teachers in Chile Begin 24-Hour Strike Against Education Law

  • The organizers say thosuands of teachers have joined the strike across the country.

    The organizers say thosuands of teachers have joined the strike across the country. | Photo: Colegio Profesores Chile

Published 17 August 2017

The strikers criticize the government of Chile for its incapacity to solve the education crisis in the country.

Thousands of teachers in Chile have begun a protest against the country's New Public Education Act and demanded the municipalities pay the debts they owe the workers, as hundreds of teachers joined the call to stop work for the next 24 hours.

250,000 Chilean Students Flood Streets Against Crippling Debt

The president of the teachers 'union Mario Aguilar said the strike was "an expression of teachers' discontent over a reform that has been very superficial and will not solve the problems of public schools."

"It will change who manages the system, but will continue to administer the same market system," Aguilar said during the march in the capital city of Santiago.

Aguilar said the majority of the communities have joined the strike, and that in Santiago, there were about 35 schools that didn't begin classes.

"There are serious problems of debt, more than 120 municipalities that have debts with teachers and the project of new public education aims to pass it on to teachers, this would originate a historical debt, which is very serious for us," Aguilar said.

"We are already preparing to leave to Santiago for the National Teachers' Strike. With all the force, colleagues!"

"Despite threats, thousands of teachers marching in the National Teachers' Strike now. Government and political class should listen to the teachers."

Daniel Andrade, a spokesman for the Confederation of Chilean Students, also known as Confech, criticized the government of Michelle Bachelet for "committing to resolve the crisis of public education and not doing it with the organizations involved."

Chilean Police Clash with Protesting Students

Aguilar said they have had six months of talks with the government, but so far there has been no concrete response to the situation.

He called on Bachelet "to understand that social transformations are done with social movements."

There will also be marches in cities such as Valparaiso, Concepcion, Arica, Copiapo, Antofagasta and La Serena.

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