The student protests in Chile, a symptom of the social gap

The student protests in Chile, a symptom of the social gap

Santiago : Chile | Sep 02, 2011 at 9:09 AM PDT
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Cops attack students protests in Chile

Graduating from college with a debt of $ 20.000 is a bleak picture for young people, but worse for Nicholas, who also worry about finding a job, you should plan how to pay the Chilean state that amount.Nicholas, like thousands of students, participates in the student movement for four months demand change in the educational system in Chile and has public support, teachers, parents and political parties, as well as worldwide media attention .With massive marches in the capital and strikes in some universities and middle schools, students protesting the profit educational institutions, seeking the state to take charge of education and restructuring the financial system and access to universities.According to official data, the Chilean State can offer basic and secondary education to nearly 100% of the population, but at the higher level of coverage is only 22.7% for the poorest and 67.8% for the richest, according to the Ministry of Planning."The educational foundation that bring bad public school, I determined to study at private universities plan their careers as business, without ensuring their graduates employable, which also borrow in amounts that can reach $ 90.000 payment horizons to 20 years, "said in an interview with Miguel Urrutia CNNMéxico, academic at the University of Chile.According to information from the Ministry of Education, the top 100 scores in the entrance examination to college, 96 are private school students, three municipalities, which depends on public resources, and only one subsidized, they invest state and private initiative. This system is the product of education system reforms implemented in the 1980's during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.A 2010 report of the Inter-American Development Bank indicates that 40% of educational investment in Chile comes from the private sector, ie families.Nicholas, a student of Forestry at the University of Chile, is one of the youths who participated in these protests. His career costs about $ 6.500 a year, a small fortune for him and his family, middle class, according to the Ministry of Planning, a middle-class home receives $ 990 a month, approximately. Her father considered a technical career and has a pest control business, his mother works part time in the area of ​​cleanliness in a hotel.In the five years of professional studies, four years had a 80% funding provided by the State, with an annual interest of 2%. For this cycle got a full scholarship, which gives the government and the university, however, drag a debt of nearly $ 20.000 for when you leave, counting interest and 5% increase each year up tuition.But the cost and accessibility to higher education are only part of a root problem in Chile: segregation.In recent decades, economic success and democratic South American country has been "spectacular," according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), poverty declined from 39% of the total population in 1990 to 15% in 2009 , the GDP rose from 28.4 billion dollars in 1989 to 163,700,000,000 dollars in 2009 and the country had an average annual growth of 5% in the last decade, according to data from the World Bank and the OECD itself.However, inequality is higher among countries in this group. "Employment rates in the 10% poorest households remain unacceptably low: only 30% are employed, compared with 70% of employment between the 10% richest households," described the Secretary General OECD, Angel Gurria, in April 2011.The educational model enters the challenges to overcome. "Schools and public high schools are administered by municipalities receive the same subsidy to private (subsidized), but they say free," Urrutia said in an interview, a scholar at the University of Chile.A 2006 study by Gonzalez and Alejandra Mizala the Center for Applied Economics at the University of Chile, explains that parents pay three times more in private schools than the state spends on subsidized."An additional element of this model is the high educational segregation of populations: the study with the rich richer and the poor with the poor, even at the college level. The movement then explodes because the classes have done in recent decades to college, but segregated, "said Urrutia.According to the Center for Public Studies, which examines issues of interest to the public, the protests have gained the support of the bulk of Chilean society: 80% do not agree with the profit educational institutions. "The truth is that those who do not support the movement keep it, I think that because the movement is so strong you're afraid to go against him," says Carmen Castillo, mother.The students were unhappy about a proposed educational reforms that began with the government of Michelle Bachelet, during which there were also protests, and continued with Sebastián Piñera.But after several conversations and three solutions proposed by Piñera to student unions, no agreement has been reached.Franklin Johnson, Civil Engineering student, complains to continue the demonstrations after the government was open to dialogue. "They defend themselves by rejecting the proposals do not meet 100% of their demands and calling the government intransigence. No protests will to dialogue only means of public disorder, "he said in an interview with CNNMéxico.The Ministry of Education launched on August 16 the "Save the School Year", for students whose elementary and middle schools have been taken by so-called "secondary", which until August 26 reported an inscription of 100,000 students. But in the case of the university, the uncertainty remains.Until now, a young man has died from the protests and some college students are on hunger strike.Meanwhile, Nicholas, as thousands of students, still looking for the transformation and remains in a state of limbo regarding their future education and the burden of its debt, which should start paying two years have been called, could be extended if the school year stops. Not sure how much you owe, "You should do the math," he says, "I do not do it because I do not want to depress." When I graduated, Nicolás be $ 20.000.

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Students in Chile want the national government to take over the public school system
Students in Chile want the national government to take over the public school system
saadkhan is based in Karāchi, Sind, Pakistan, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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