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Chilean students and workers take to the streets to demand education reform

Thursday, June 27th 2013 - 05:38 UTC
Full article 22 comments

An estimated one hundred thousand people turned out Wednesday on another day of demonstrations called by students in several Chilean cities, with union members, port workers and miners joining the throng. Read full article


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  • GeoffWard2

    '... to demand free and high-quality public education, along with the elimination of the profit motive at private universities.'

    'Free' and 'high-quality' are a bit oxymoronic. Somebody has to pay, but presumably not the students.
    'Elimination of the profit motive' is a non. seq. for private industry. For example, shareholders tend to get upset. Argentina can offer Chile some advice here - nationalise all aspects of education within the country, especially all those owned by foreigners. And/or .. start a war.

    Chile has evolved beyond the simplistic and self-destructive solutions.
    And re-structuring of the state education system is already agreed.

    Jun 27th, 2013 - 09:11 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Conqueror

    Anything that is “free” is worth exactly what you pay for it. Moreover, violent clashes are not the way. According to the aphorism, “violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”. Who would think that a masked protester/student was worth educating for free? All they are worth is jail time. In fact, perhaps the government should make it clear that, even if the costs of education are significantly reduced, students involved in violence will not benefit.

    Jun 27th, 2013 - 10:28 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Sergio Vega

    Chilean education system is for free from pre-school to the last year of high school, more tan 12 years, which is run by Municipalties with MoE supervisión.
    It coexist with private schools that receive a subvension from the state and plus a payment from families of the same amount.(called private-subventioneed) with a higher quality tan the first. Moreover, there are totally private schools where the families pays for the whole cost (the more expensives and selectives)
    The difference between them is got ten from the way they are ruled.....
    The first belong to all so they belong to nobody.....political parties at the Municipality take over them and the executives are political and no thecnical reaseon to choose them.....result is a bad administration with lot of financial resources lost, a lot of teachers strikes, students strikes, workers strikes, a lack of interest for the students themselves...Any family with posibilities take their cildren out to a private- subventioned school.....
    The second, private subventioned schools.....they are from churches (protestant, catholic, adventist, etc.) and other societies like some of teachers, or investers, so all of them have visible heads that ask for good results with kids from a very mixed society extraction has meant that with almost the same resources that the first schools the have higher result in all order....This is the most preferred kind of schools which bring a very reliable future for the students.....
    The third, the totally private schools are the top in quality but also they are the top in cost so the richiest families can afford them, becoming high socially selective and future reliable...
    The third level of education are the institutes, colleges or universities, some of them state owned and others from the catholic church and they form a group called the traditional universities and to get there studentes must approve a final test. For the privates it´s no necessary. All of the are payed by families

    Jun 27th, 2013 - 12:17 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    Shoot the troublemakers when they start damaging stuff.
    I am sick and tired of all of these commies wanting stuff for free
    Work or die

    Jun 27th, 2013 - 02:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Math

    Sounds like the Passe Livre in Brazil. These fascists don't understand that you pay for it, they just want it for free and they want it now. Geez!

    Jun 27th, 2013 - 02:14 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    It is not entirely true that they just want everything for free. Chile, for all its great progress is still very elitist. There is a very good little racket going on in the education system where many a rich man has profiteered. (I remember seeing a beautiful home on an island in a lake near Pucon, with half-a dozen boats moored, belonging to a man who owned a couple of part-fee-paying schools. Don't tell me he was putting all the government money towards education).

    I agree university education should not be entirely free at the point of use. But it typically costs more than $10,000 per year for five years minimum to put someone through university in Chile. Given that $12,000 per annum is a good wage for a large section of the population, you can see how prohibitive that is for the majority. Scholarships are a rarity. Middle-class families hock themselves to the eyeballs to give their children a decent education and the banks have a nice little earner with expensive loans. They are some of the most vocal opponents to free university education.

    Interestingly, even Pinochet criticised heavily the education system in Chile, calling it 'only for the rich' and set up the Pinochet Foundation which puts about 200 students through university every year.

    You have to understand the class system in Chile to understand that the only way to improve social mobility is to make the education system more fair. Just because you are born rich does not make you the most intelligent of the population and investment in education is the way to improve the country in the long-term.

    Means-tested subsidised education for qualifying students could be affordable for the government. Chile wants to develop and it need an educated work force to do that.

    Jun 27th, 2013 - 03:58 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Sergio Vega

    I will continue....
    Our superior education system is paid by user...the state run and the privates unis, but there is a loan system at low cost and payable after graduation with a maximun of 5% incomes to be askd by all of lower incomes.....also bank credits for those not able to apply for the before mentioned loans....
    The majority of private unis not considered “traditional” have as requirement to get in the test without consider the pointing where the “traditional” have mínimum pointing depending on the career you choose.....
    Respect the quality, there are some “traditional” that are the best within SA, but other with no good level, as well some private unis are good enough to compare them with the traditional and others so bad as the worst traditionals.....
    One important thing is that private unis are the only way to reach a grade for an important part of the Chilean society to become better workers and have a better future.....
    Those stupids “students” that say are fighting for free and better unis are just doing political career on the suffering of thousend of students that hope to finish the uni to start working and have a better life. Behind the scene, the leftist parties are building a fake feeling of caos and lack of governance using the same fool guys offering what is impossible to give because funds are not enough for all people and, in certain way, there must be a selection of the future proffesionals ....

    Jun 27th, 2013 - 04:48 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @7 I agree that not everyone benefits from a better job just because they attended university. I think the idea that everyone should have free further education fosters a society of eternal students, most of whom appear to be avoiding work.

    But, given Chile's very structures class system, it should be education that breaks the social mobility barriers. It could unlock a lot of intelligence and wealth for the country in the long-term.

    Jun 27th, 2013 - 05:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Sergio Vega

    I agree with ElaineB mainly, but I have studied on times when it was directly dependent on the MoE and for free. Those times very few private schools were working and near to 80% of the children assisted to state ruled schools.....the difference were that the teachers were respected, parents were commited with the school activities, students have to study hard and the requirements to get the next grades were it has changed a lot as you must have seen probably when you visit us. It has started after the “happyness arrived” when democracy return and with the excuse of freeing all next to the dictatorship appeared the children rights without the children dutyes, so they were taught to claim for all without give nothing....the easy way to destroy the old educational system...It meant that families that wanted thir kid better taught move them to the private-subsided o full private even sacrificing a big part of their incomes...Then, the differences between one and another schools was born and increased with the time...
    What the students are doing as you can watch on tv today is boy& girls destroying the furniture, the implementation and structure of the schools when they took them contrary to the spirit of quality improving of the educational system....There is a behind scene in this fact and it´s that they fight against it becasuse it was designed under the dictatorship so it must be destroyed or changed, as well as the Constittution, Electoral laws, pension system, health system, etc....It´s a demonization of all made under the military Gvt. per se.
    When unis were for free the average time to finish a career was almost the doublé of the right time, the efectiveness was extremely low because students changed too much from one career to other and finaly given up after a lot of years avoiding the work market...Clever students always can get a scholarship, university credit and/or work to pay the uni.....What is for free is never good valued....

    Jun 27th, 2013 - 07:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    I agree about entirely free further education being open to abuse.

    I also suspect that some of these demonstrations are being manipulated. Though, personally, I think it is the role of students to challenge the status quo, peacefully.

    As for not understanding the social contract of giving to society as well as receiving from it, that is a matter to be reinforced not just in schools but at every level of society.

    It is my understanding that it was the years when the free market economy really took hold that the middle-class, such as teachers, lost their standing in society. I mean, in reality, how can an educator be valued? What do they produce of value to be sold? Not everything can be valued in such simplistic terms, right? Having a well-educated society is fundamental to a developed country. It is investing in the future.

    Jun 27th, 2013 - 09:41 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Sergio Vega

    Yes, I agree that youth is the nrefreshing of society and its new air is essential, of course....BUT there are different pacific and consecuent ways to express the own opinión on things that are happening day by day.....
    On the other hand, the majority of those students never had contributed to the state yet and they are not capable to do so yet, so their claims are no more that this, claims of good will.
    You can check that they are manipulated by political parties (communist to be clear) is that their claims started with the bus pass, then they were adding one to another claims arriving to the change of constitution, electoral laws, tax policies, social security, etc. finding each time a new requirement to say that the Gvt. didn´t hear them...their final goal is to keep the country in perpetual caos and controversy.....but people is tired of that, each day more and more are changing their mind about the real move behind this facts.
    Teachers never were well paid in Chile, but were very very respected inside & outside the shool while they worked responsible and with love for the students, but when new generation of teachers appeared transmitting bad feelings like bitter, envy, lack of interest because they didn´t get the grade they really wanted (engineer, medicine, attorney, economics, etc.) and took the political activity as their main goal then the comunity lost their respect to them......
    In our society we have groups of people that in a irresponsible way make offers of gratuity for all, the easy way to obtain things without the correspondent work to deserve them...paid for those that really work and with a big effort tray to live a better life with their families...
    We hope to reach the developed country level ASAP and the economic figures say that it could be possible BUT it will be real only if we can raise the less educated people to international standards on the will take timespecially when some polital parties are fighting against.....

    Jun 28th, 2013 - 01:18 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    'I mean, in reality, how can an educator be valued?
    What do they produce of value to be sold?'
    (Elaine #10)

    Trying my tactic now, Elaine?
    Ask the Chinese if they value a good educator enough to pay for private pre-examination tuition. Know how much they earn a year?

    The value can be established easily by free market;
    less easily so in mass government educational programmes where salaries can easily be screwed down to a basal level, balancing basal education with basal costs. This is the choice that nations make. In practice they treat education as a necessary cost rather than a national benefit; they take their elite predominantly from the maximally-educationally-developed private sector.
    And you wonder why?

    Thank you, Sergio, for another highly informative set of postings.
    You provide better value for money than anybody else on this site.
    Privately educated? .... ;-)

    Jun 28th, 2013 - 08:20 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @12 Just encouraging debate. :)

    Jun 28th, 2013 - 09:09 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Sergio Vega

    12 @ No....State run school an uni student my whole life....BUT it was between 1958 and 1975......First at Liceo (High School) Luis Alberto Barrera from Punta Arenas (primary), Liceo Jose Victorino Lastarria (secondary) and Universidad Técnica del Estado....all of then for free at that my experience on free education is wide and real....My kids (3 sons) were at a Municipal school (primary) for free, Colegio Punta Arenas 2 of them (private) and Liceo Nobelius the other (private-subsided), then Universidad de Magallanes 2 of them and INACAP the other, all paid by us. A big change but we had no option because the bad quality and enviroment of municipal high schools last years with a big family effort that have made us proud of it.....and our boys have valued it too being good persons and professional.....
    I have seen many school mates and college mates that lost a lot of years pretending to be students with none punishment just because it not meant any direct cost to them or their families to end with no grade at all.....who paid for their stupid attitude were us, all the taxpayers that saw our money very bad spent.....lost, in other words....!!!
    Now, a very different fact we you must pay for it, as much you delay to get your grade as much you must pay......what is very fair from this point of view.
    We are not in times when things can be gave to anyone just for grace....Europe is coming back from excesive given money with deep pain for too much people accustomed to the “for free” things.....Near to us we have a good example on how we can sink our country financial Budget, just anothe side of the wire......

    Jun 29th, 2013 - 02:36 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Mastershake

    When is this going to end?! Chile's such a wonderful country and really special in LatAm, this behavior is such an undeserved and unnecessarily stain. These teenagers need a good beating from their parents.

    Jun 29th, 2013 - 05:59 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @15 I have no problem with peaceful protest and students challenging the status quo but you can be sure that the Chilean protests go much deeper. The students are being manipulated.

    Jun 29th, 2013 - 01:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    The students are being manipulated.

    The students are being manipulated.

    You are so right, Elaine.

    Jun 29th, 2013 - 03:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Sergio Vega

    16@ I agree 100% with you......People need to know the Chilean enviroment and culture to understand what is behaind the secene.....and the irony is not necessary when the debate is in a serious way....except if you haven´t arguments to desagree....

    Jun 29th, 2013 - 10:53 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Chilean perspective

    The Communist party and its agitators are behind all this crap. I'm simply sick of it. The police arrest these criminal scumbag losers but the courts release them right away as the police casualties continue to mount. It's a god damn disgrace.
    Unfortunately Communism is a disease deeply rooted amongst many of the intellectual elite and also those in the lowest socio economic groups in Chile. Too bad for us I guess.

    Jun 29th, 2013 - 11:51 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    Voting today. It will be interesting to see the results.

    Jun 30th, 2013 - 01:43 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Sergio Vega

    The way how judges are acting is conseqence of the judiciary reform made by Bachelet Gvt. with a clear guarantor perspective, where the victim is not well represented.....and priorize the offender rights before the victim rights...
    Judges has been appointed to the judiciary service mainly during the 20 years red Gvt. so they are focused on the left point of view of the rule of law....

    We have a result already on election.....Mr. Longueira vs Miss Bachelet....hope the winner will be Chile next November....and we can continue this 4 last years of development.....if not, it will be what we will deserve, no more......a decadent country in leftist hands....

    Jul 01st, 2013 - 01:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • MagnusMaster

    These Chilean students are much like our own left-wing nuts at the big schools and universities. Here in Buenos Aires the UBA and the largest public high schools are full of leftists who are extremely lazy and spoiled. Fortunately they aren't much of a threat to anyone but themselves because even here nobody takes them seriously, but unlike here in Chile some of the students are actually trying to get into politics. These kids are very ignorant and easy to manipulate and they are a big danger for Chile. The Peronists are already trying to use them to spread their cancer across the Andes, but since they usually don't see beyond our borders except when they must take cash away I don't think they are the main threat. I hope I'm not wrong, though.

    Jul 02nd, 2013 - 04:05 am - Link - Report abuse 0

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