SANTIAGO – Several thousand teachers poured into the streets of Santiago and other cities of Chile to express their rejection of an education bill currently being debated in Congress.
The march marked the first day of a strike called by the teachers union, which demands changes in key aspects of a bill that includes some of the reforms to the education system being promoted by the Michelle Bachelet government.
Among other elements, teachers object to the imposition of certification exams and say the salary levels contemplated in the plan are too low.
In that context, union leader Jaime Gajardo asked the Education Ministry to establish a round-table discussion to seek solutions to differences over the bill.
The demonstrations “have started all over the country,” Gajardo said while leading a peaceful march of teachers along Alameda Bernardo O’Higgins, the main avenue in Santiago.
Joining the protest were thousands of high school students, who in the early hours Monday occupied five schools.