German students strike for better education

June 28, 2009

A week of education strikes across Germany peaked on June 17 when up to 240,000 students ditched classes in 90 cities to demand improved conditions and funding.

Protesters carried banners reading "Save education, not just the banks" and "Free education or rich parents for all!". Demands included smaller classes, higher university quotas, more flexible lesson plans and the abolition of Germany's three-tiered primary school system.

Strikers also want to abolish the university tuition fees state governments have introduced since 2005.

The campaign has attracted support from 230 organisations, including unions, anti-corporate group Attac and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, which is connected to Die Linke (the Left Party).

"We decided that this is more than just a school strike, because we are going against the entire educational system", Lisa, a press officer for the School Strike Committee, told news agency Deutsche Welle. "It has to be a strike against the entire educational system. Our demands have not been met and not much has changed, as far as laws go."

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