SCHOOLING was a key topic in Palma yesterday when approximately 300 people demonstrated in Plaza del Olivar to ask for better quality teaching.
Only 3.5 percent of the GNP (Gross National Product) is spent on the education system in the Balearic Islands, whereas the European Union is calling for all nations to spend 6 percent by 2010. The President of the Federation for Majorcan Parents of Pupils Associations (FAPA), Catalina Esteve, explained that the aim of the day was to ask the Ministry for Education to spend more on schools and resources, so that the islands have a high quality teaching system. FAPA organised the demonstration, and also asked for help from town councils and other government departments.
The day was also useful in making the residents more aware about the schooling needs and current problems, such as over-crowding and lack of resources, the President of the Federation added yesterday. During the meeting, a speech was read out which highlighted the fact that Balearic parents have to pay for the full cost of school books, whereas in other Spanish regions, the books are completely free or subsidised. The group also complained about parents having to pay for the extra-activity events for their sons and daughters at school, as well as the lack of recycling resources and continual training for teachers. Furthermore, they also want state schools to be better maintained, and more state schools to be built.

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