Chile's Students Protest Education System

Thousand of students marched in different cities across the country to protest against the educational bill that they believe would not bring necessary change to lower tuition fees and equality in education.

The demonstration on April 11th was the first of the academic year in which thirty people were arrested and six police officers injured, according to officials. Organizers said 90,000 people had joined the protest. Police put the figure at 35,000.

Students complain that the reforms by the government do not provide enough Chileans with free university education and the students were not consulted when drafting legislation.

"I don't know if the government is playing stupid. You can't legislate without listening to the social movements," Daniel Andrade, head of the University of Chile student union, told journalists.

Following the protest, the education committee in the lower house of Congress voted against sending the bill to the floor for debate. That will now force President Michelle Bachelet and her team to redraw the bill.

Presidential elections are due in Chile in November and the student movement will be a crucial factor in the results.


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