Italians protest over education cut

Government proposals include budget and job cuts at state universities.

    Protesters hold a placard that reads: 'Public school is a right, to defend it is a must' [AFP]

    Many students have been missing classes for weeks to protest against the plan, and in some cases they have occupied schools.

    Some teachers have also joined the protest, staging open-air lessons in streets and squares across the country.

    Berlusconi has said he will not budge on despite the protests.

    A nationwide strike by school teachers and university professors is planned for October 30.

    Public opposition

    Nearly half of Italians are opposed to the cuts, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, suggested in a recent poll.

    The survey found that 47 per cent of the 1,024 people questioned were against the proposals. About 38 per cent of Italians backed them.

    The proposals for primary schools would mean that, from autumn of next year, instead of three staff sharing teaching duties in different subjects for two classes, each class would have one all-purpose instructor.

    Time spent at school would be slashed from 29 to 31 hours a week currently, to 24. The aim is to save $9.7bn over four years.

    Savings of $1.8bn are being sought in the secondary school sector and higher education over five years.

    The education ministry said the plans seek to "rationalise spending to improve the quality" of education and that only a few thousands of the country's millions of students are demonstrating.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.