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Chile

Yearbook 2011

Chile. For most of the year, intense student demonstrations raged in protest of the government's education policy. Among the most important requirements were guarantees for the quality of education and that the private element in the education sector is reduced. According to Countryaah official site, the central student organization Confech protested that the current system favors private initiatives and causes segmentation, exclusion and discrimination to the detriment of public education. One of the most prominent protest leaders, Camila Vallejo, also called for a more socially responsible tax policy with higher taxes for high-income earners to pay for the upgrading of public education. Confech's criticism of the social divisions in which the education system is characterized was supported by both a report from UNESCO's Latin America department in December and from the Chilean teachers' union, which on October 9 held an unofficial referendum with one million participants in support of the public education sector. About the same time, Chile's economic and social inequality was also highlighted in reports by both the OECD, the UN and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As part of the protests, some sixty protesters stormed the old congress building in the capital Santiago on October 20 to demand immediate reforms by Education Minister Felipe Bulnes personally. The storm did not turn violent and the police did not intervene, mainly because Senate President Guido Girardi supported citizens' right to stay in a public institution's premises.

2011 Chile

The 2012 budget, which was finally voted through Congress in early December, included an increase in education grants totaling the equivalent of $ 12 billion, which was 10% more than a year earlier. The appropriations for higher education increased by 26%, but within Confech they were not satisfied.

The government was also confronted with intense protests in January in the southernmost region of Magallanes. The protests concerned a 17% increase in the price of domestic gas.

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