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National strike of Chilean teachers in fourth week

Christian Fernsby |
The problems of public education in Chile have continued to worsen at present with Minister Marcela Cubillos reluctant to dialogue with tens of thousands of unemployed teachers who go to the fourth week without classes.

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The clash between the Teachers' Association, which gathers around 50,000 primary and secondary school teachers, and the authorities of the Ministry of Education (Mineduc), seems to be gain strength in the absence of a solution to the crisis that has kept more than 600,000 students out of school since June 3.

On Thursday, tens of thousands of teachers gathered near the La Moneda Palace to reiterate to the government the 11-point petition, after rejecting 92 percent of the teachers in base assemblies the latest Mineduc proposals.

The teachers are calling for improvements in their working conditions, overcoming the neglect of public education in the country and reversing a measure that foresees the elimination of the subjects of History, Physical Education and the Arts from the compulsory high school curriculum.

There are also the problems affecting the National Institute, a center of excellence in Santiago de Chile with more than 4,000 students, which for weeks has been the constant scene of violent clashes between students and special forces of the Carabineros.

The last of those clashes ended with a student with burns in the middle of an excessive repression of the police forces that has been criticized by broad sectors, and before the escalation of violence the mayor's office of the capital advanced the winter vacation for the students.

For their part, they announced a demonstration for next week and demanded the solidarity of the country's students.

In all cases there seems to be a common factor and that is the growing lack of attention to public education in the country, which in the opinion of some analysts is considered by the government as the remnant for those who do not have money to pay for private schools.


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