The protest in Palma against the education law and calling for more investment in education. | Joan Torres

Hundreds of secondary school students took part in a protest in Palma yesterday against the national government's LOMCE education law (LOMCE stands for the law for the improvement of educational quality). In all, around 17,000 students in their last two years of secondary education, studying for the baccalaureate or on professional training courses took the day off and went on strike. These represented 42% of the total number of pupils at these levels in the Balearics; some 13,500 of them were in Majorca.

The law, introduced by the Partido Popular government at the end of 2013, has always been controversial. It received no backing from other parties at the time that it was approved. Objections were raised, for instance, in regions such as the Balearics where there are two co-official languages. The law was looked upon as threatening the use of Catalan. Among other provisions was one for a greater emphasis on religious education, which even some PP supporters believed was unnecessary. It was also felt that the law was too "centralist" in terms of its curriculum. In April last year, Congress paralysed adoption of aspects of the law that had yet to be applied.

There were strikes and protests in cities across Spain. It was organised by unions and parents' associations. A further demand that was being made was for greater investment in education.

The minister for education Inigo Mendez de Vigo said yesterday that he saw no reason for the protests because the government is working in parliament to agree on further regulatory changes.