Thousands of Spanish people took to the streets of Madrid on Saturday, 30 November, to protest at education cuts. Organised by the Platform for Public Education, the protestors also demanded the suspension of the recently approved reform, the Organic Law for the Improvement of Education Quality (LOMCE), better known as the Wert law.
The platform is made up of the unions affiliated to EI: FECCOO, FETE-UGT and STEs, as well as students’ organisations, parents’ associations and movements for educational reform.
Resignation call The organisations concerned called on the Minister of Education, José Ignacio Wert, to resign as Minister of Education, Culture and Sport.
As the Platform explained in its joint manifesto, “This decision is the result of what has happened during the two years of your contractual relationship with the citizens of this country, during which time you have amply demonstrated that you are not worthy of the post you occupy, which is why you have been roundly rejected by all those who make up the education community, and by the rest of society.”
In the manifesto, the organisations noted that the imposed reform had “died at birth and social mobilisation played a key and fundamental role in making that happen. That is why we need, now more than ever, to keep up the momentum and the unity of our action. We have already announced, repeatedly, that the Platform for Public Education is committed to continuing its action.”
Reform without consensus The LOMCE, the seventh educational reform in the history of Spanish democracy, was given its final approval in Congress last week thanks to the Partido Popular’s (PP) absolute majority. All opposition groups expressed their firm rejection of the measure and their intention to overturn it as soon as the PP loses its absolute majority in the Congress of Deputies.
EI solidarity EI has shown its support and solidarity with Spain’s education community in its defence of inclusive, good quality public education, and the teaching profession.
“The reform of the LOMCE can be seen within the context of global education reforms and the restructuring of education systems around the world,” said David Edwards, EI Assistant General Secretary.
“These reforms are transforming the role of the public sector in education and are promoting a type of education that is exacerbating inequalities and holding back social change.”
Edwards added: “In its education policy paper, EI challenges explicitly the narrow, instrumentalist view of education as solely teaching students to become skilled employees.
“EI argues instead for a perspective on education that serves both the values of the society at local and global levels, as well as cultural, democratic, social, economic and environmental needs.”
Picture Gallery of the demonstration here