Students cut off Ricardo Soriano in Marbella on Wednesday. Josele-Lanza
This week secondary school pupils all over Spain were called to support a three-day strike to protest at the reforms proposed by the Education Minister, José Ignacio Wert.
Students unions estimate that around 90 per cent of students entitled to strike (from third year of secondary education up) missed their classes, although the Education Ministry puts the figure much lower.
On Wednesday around 600 students in Malaga and 200 in Marbella took to the streets to protest at the reform and call for a quality public education system.
In Marbella the youngsters marched through the town centre before sitting across the town’s main road, Ricardo Soriano, blocking the traffic for 25 minutes.
The youngsters carried numerous placards with slogans such as “The worst enemy of a corrupt government is an educated people”.
The Students Union coordinator for Marbella, David Elena Morales, a pupil ar Profesor Pablo de Saz school, told SUR: “The reform in itself is insulting. A package of measures that are totally wrong and much worse that the LOE”, referring to a previous reform. “They want to turn us into machines, not people,” he added.
Retored teacher, Marta Cambiasso, turned out to support the Marbella youngsters. “We have to make a noise, because education is what makes us free,” she said, banging her saucepan lid.
In Malaga the secondary school students taking part in the protests expressed their concern about their future, which, they believe, is compromised by the new law.
“I thought I would be able to go to university like my brother, but now I’m not sure because my mum has had her salary cut,” said Laura Alonso, as the marchers made their way from the Edificio Negro, which houses the Education Department, to the Rectorado building.
Neither is Carolina García certain that she will be able to study Physics in Granada. “Since when was education for the wealthy?” she asked.
The strike organisers describe the new law as a “Francoist counter-reform” that will have the effect of “marginalising” and “privatising” education.