Arab Today, arab today thousands protest in colombia over education reform
Last Updated : GMT 06:32:21
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Thousands protest in Colombia over education reform

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Thousands protest in Colombia over education reform

Bogota - AFP

Thousands of students and teachers marched in Bogota and other cities across Colombia on Wednesday to push for a major increase in education funding. In the capital, students -- many of them decked out in makeup to do performances -- chanted for "free, state-funded education" and called for "less budget money for war and more for education." Marchers also were opposing a government bill that seeks to inject private resources into public universities. Unions complain that the measure would end up reducing teachers' salaries and benefits. President Juan Manuel Santos however has now said the bill will not be put before lawmakers until there is broader public consultation on educational reform. It was the second major protest against the education reform bill after a first on April 7. That one was the first large protest against the Santos government. He has been in office since August 2010. For three months, Chile has seen mass protests calling for the elimination of a voucher system that supports private universities and demanding free, higher quality education at public universities. That country's president Sebastian Pinera, a conservative billionaire whose popularity soared after the spectacular rescue of 33 Chilean miners last October after 69 days trapped underground, is facing growing discontent. With the economy set to grow by more than six percent in 2011, many in mineral-rich Chile wonder why they are not sharing in the prosperity.

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