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

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.