HUNDREDS of secondary modern and higher education students in Palma joined in the demos called on a national scale to defend State-run schools and oppose the Popular Party's policy of “cuts in education, privatisation and segregation.” A spokesman for the students' union said it was a “massive rejection” of the conservative government's policies, in particular the laws on quality in education and universities. The students claim that these laws are designed to promote privatisation and creating an elite, putting higher education within the reach of very few while “filling the pockets of the private school promoters.” The students are demanding the repeal of both laws and a plan to improve the quality of education in State schools.
A student spokesperson said that the new measures were “very discriminatory against the lower classes.” As an example, she said that the university entrance exam has an oral test in English, but the means are not provided for students to be able to improve their knowledge free of charge. An estimated 400 students took part in the demo in Palma, according to the organisers, but the ministry of education said that figures had been “very low.” The students marched from the Avenidas to the Consolat de la Mar, government headquarters, calling for improved prospects for the future.
On a national scale, there were more than 50 demos involving a reported two million students. The biggest were in Barcelona and Madrid.