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  • Students in Chile have previously held strikes against educational reforms

    Students in Chile have previously held strikes against educational reforms | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 July 2016

Chilean student have taken to the streets to demand free education and inclusive reforms.

The Confederation of Chilean Students, known as CONFECH, began a protest in the capital city of Santiago to demand educational reform, currently under debate in the national Congress.

Chile Students, Police Clash in Protest for Free Education

The students will march from different areas of the city toward the La Moneda presidential palace, even though they don’t have a permit from the local authorities to protest.

"The is irresponsible on the part of the city administration, that does not give authorizations, it’s our legitimate right," said Gabriel Iturra from CONFECH.

Authorities rejected the student’s permit due to its proximity to another march set to take place on July 10, which does have authorization as a "family."

According to the students, the government has not proven how the project will strengthen public education, or if that private universities will have any regulations.

"The idea is to socialize our demands,” said Camila Rojas, president of the University of Chile Student Federation. “We know that we need to interrupt as little as possible the normal lives of the people of Santiago."

Chile Under Fire for Failing to Provide Free Education

CONFECH brings together students from universities all over Chile, which are organized in federations.

In the past months, 60 schools and more than 50 universities have been shut down due to national strikes against education reforms.

Previously, President Michelle Bachelet approved a plan to provide free university education last year, but the Federation of University Students of Chile says only 14 of percent of tuition costs are covered.

Bachelet said her government will replace the current education system, which has been inherited from the dictatorship era of Augusto Pinochet, that began in 1973 and lasted until 1990.

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