chilean students agree to talks after huge protests
Last Updated : GMT 16:41:52
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Chilean students agree to talks after huge protests

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Chilean students agree to talks after huge protests

Santiago - AFP

Chile\'s student federation agreed to talks with the government on education reforms after nearly five months of demonstrations. But student leaders said they would be calling for no classes to be held while the talks are ongoing, to maintain pressure on the government. \"We are participating to continue out constant struggle for free, democratized education in Chile,\" said Giorgio Jackson, a leader of the CONFECH student confederation, on Tuesday. Classes have been on hold in many schools and universities during the long-running protests, the largest protest movement in Chile since General Augusto Pinochet\'s military dictatorship ended in 1990. The atmosphere seemed ripe for dialogue after the government soften its position and accepted some of the students\' demands, which included withdrawing two education bills sent to Congress with no input from the students. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, a center-right billionaire who came to power in March 2010, has stubbornly rejected the protesters\' demands in public. He has shrugged off calls for the school year to be rearranged, and said that 70,000 high school students making such calls and refusing to make up course credits through remedial tests had simply wasted a year.

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