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  • An estimated 730,000 children will receive free education between 2016 and 2018.

    An estimated 730,000 children will receive free education between 2016 and 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 January 2015

The reforms aim to make the educational system more equal and prevent schools from profiting from public funds.

Chile passed a series of landmark educational reforms Tuesday that will eliminate shared funding, regulate school admissions and ban schools from making profit from state funds.

The right-wing opposition is reeling after President Michelle Bachelet crushed their attempt to prevent the pivotal initiative. Bachelet emphasized that the project, which will include some 14,000 schools, is based on the principle of inclusion for school children.

“The children and their parents decide which school to attend, it won't be the schools deciding for them. Economic capacity won’t decide, nor cultural capital,” she said.

Mario Venegas, president of Chiles’s Education Commission, praised the reform package as tremendous news for thew country. The lawmaker explained that under the new legislation, 730,000 children will have guaranteed free education within the next two years. By 2018 that will rise to 93 percent of school-aged children, and 97 percent in 10 years' time.

“There will be no more profit with public resources, that's to say, to allocate them exclusively for the function of education, to change the bases of the system that we had, an unjust, segregating system, that wasn't giving equal opportunities,” Venegas added.

The new system, which will begin in March 2016, is the first big reform to Chile's education system and is rooted in the demands that arose from the huge student mobilizations that developed in Chile starting in 2011.

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