Spain: a red-hot spring in defence of state education
Education unions along with parents’ and students’ associations have called for a strike in Spain on May 22. The strike will make history, covering the whole education sector from Early Childhood Education up to university.
This and other protests have been called for by the Nationwide Platform for State Education( Plataforma Estatal por la Escuela Pública) comprising unions affiliated to Education International (education unions FECCOO, FETE-UGT, STEs and CSI-CSIF), as well as students’ organisations, parents’ associations and educational reform groups.
Cuts in education introduced bit by bit in Spain over the last two years have been intensified by the present Government and now amount to 4.5 billion euros.
By Royal Decree the Government in April passed new “reform” measures which will take a further 3 billion euros out of the education budget.
The consequences of these policies will have a direct impact on the quality of the state education service. They will lead to, among other things, cuts in staff levels, overcrowded classrooms, a standstill in the creation of new vocational training courses, the privatisation of education services, increased university fees, fewer scholarships, and a loss of labour rights for teaching staff.
The Ministry of Education has refused to discuss the new measures with the unions in the democratic forums and channels established by law, and has imposed “reforms” which affect existing constitutional laws and regulations.
Faced with the Government’s opposition to negotiation and consultation, the Nationwide Platform for State Education has given notice of what will be a “red-hot spring” in education, with large mobilisations across the country culminating in a one-day general strike in education on May 22nd.
In preparation, a day of activism for education was called for May 10th. Under the slogan “No to dismantling state education. No to social suicide” the protests enjoyed huge support in educational institutions throughout the country.
After the actions of the 10th and 22nd of May, the mobilisations may be extended into the next school year if necessary.
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