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Violence erupts during student demos in Chile

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - 00:45

Protesters clash with police during demonstrations for education reforms in the Chilean capital. Rough Cut-subtitled (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Student demonstrators clash with police in Chile over education reforms. The violence comes as President Michelle Bachelet pushes through reforms to improve teacher pay, and make university education free. Congress has approved Bachelet's first round of reforms which includes ending selective entrance policies and profits for state-subsidised schools. But now a year into her term, protesters say the reforms do not go far enough. Students clashed with police in the centre of the Chilean capital on Tuesday (December 22) in the most recent blow up in ongoing protests over educational reform. The Confederation of Chilean Students (Confech) took to the streets and began marching towards Chile University against what they say is the "improvisation" of legislation to make higher education free in the country. The march began peacefully, but escalated into violence with protesters throwing rocks at officers. Riot police tried to disperse unruly crowds with a water cannon. The violence comes as President Michelle Bachelet pushes through education reform in the South American country. Her government is set to bolster teacher pay and conditions, bring public schools - now managed and financed by townships - under national jurisdiction, make university education free, and provide additional state funds for poor students. These promises formed the base of Bachelet's election manifesto, after student protests four years ago played a major role in ending the conservative government of Sebastian Pinera. Earlier this year, Chile's Congress approved the first of Bachelet's education reforms which include an end to profits at state-subsidised schools and eliminates their selective entrance policies. However, with Bachelet now a year into her term, the new generation of student protesters say the reforms do not go far enough. Protesters have demanded that Chile use its natural resources and tax system to fund free tuition for students, who now are often saddled with loans.

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Violence erupts during student demos in Chile

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - 00:45