education

Paper threatens free education

Since 1880, it has been a fundamental right of every Australian to access free public education.

Recently this came into question when a federal government discussion paper was leaked, which posed the idea of the federal government taking over education funding and charging wealthier parents who send their children to public schools.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne has come out in opposition to the suggestion, commenting on Twitter: “Charging wealthy parents for their children to attend public schools is not the government’s policy. I don’t support it.”

Latin America briefs: Chile students; Colombia peace talks; Dominican Republic threat to Haitians; Guatemalan anti-gov't protests

Chilean teachers strike against education bill

Thousands of Chilean teachers took to the streets of Santiago once again on June‭ ‬17,‭ ‬TeleSUR English said that day‭‬.‭

The protest was part of the indefinite national strike to protest against an education reform bill proposed by the government of President Michelle Bachelet.‭ ‬There were marches in at least five other cities across the country.‭

Ecuador: Correa's 'Citizens' Revolution' upsets elite

Violent right-wing protests erupted in Ecuador on June 8, sparked by plans for a new inheritance tax law that would target the richest 2% of the population.

In response, President Rafael Correa agreed to temporarily halt two planned laws to carry out a nationwide debate on inequality and wealth redistribution – challenging the opposition to prove his government's laws would hurt the poor.

On June 18, Correa took to social media to start the debate, asking: “How can we call a country a 'democracy' if less than 2% of families own 90 percent of big businesses?”

Cuba: 'We will always be ready to help sister-nations', ICAP president says

Kenia Serrano, president of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and a member of Cuba's National Assembly, attended the recent national consultation of the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society. Green Left Weekly's Denis Rogatyuk spoke with her about recent developments of the Cuban Revolution.

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Cuba has just been removed from the list of state-sponsors of terrorism. How do you think this will affect Cuba’s relations with the United States?

Mexico: US ignores violence, protests and endorses vote

The US government issued a congratulatory statement on June 9, praising the Mexican people after June 7 elections, despite large protests and boycotts held by activists and teacher unions across the nation.

The elections were marked by violence, but the US Department of State considered the process democratic, saying: “We congratulate the people of Mexico for exercising its democratic right to vote and choosing its leaders.”

A fresh approach for University of Sydney students

Kyol Blakeney was elected President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at the University of Sydney last month and the makeup of the new council promises a fresh approach to student politics.

Blakeney’s election win marks the first Grassroots and non-Labor candidate to run the SRC in 14 years. One of his main aims as president next year is to create more affordable living circumstances for students.

Palestinian official: Venezuela is 'our ‬most important ally‭'

Palestinian Authority‭ (‬PA‭) ‬foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki has described Venezuela as‭ ‬“Palestine's most important ally‭”‬,‭ ‬Venezuelanalysis.com said on May‭ ‬19.‭ ‬Al-Maliki made the comments while in Caracas for bilateral talks with‭ ‬Venezuela's socialist government.

Past education campaign lessons for today

The education reforms of the 1970s occurred in a very different political climate from today's education movements, yet there are still lessons to be learnt from it.

The political agitation and mood for change of the 1960s opened the door to a number of movements, many coming from the Vietnam War. Students were not only shocked by the disturbing images of the war on the TV news during this time, but male students were also liable to be conscripted via a lottery process.

Like a zombie that just won’t die: fee deregulation returns

Fee deregulation will be resurrected this year. This gives education activists that general zombie-slayer feeling any sane human gets from fighting a piece of legislation you thought you had killed already.

Last year, fee deregulation was booted out of the Senate, with student boots doing most of the kicking. But it doesn’t want to die and is set to return to parliament, presumably with enough amendments to appeal to the biggest fence sitters.

Sydney police gave no warning before pepper spraying students

Police attacked students with pepper spray during a protest against university fee deregulation in Sydney on February 13.

About 30 students gathered to protest against education minister Christopher Pyne, who was giving the Inaugural Hedley Beare Memorial Lecture at the Sydney Masonic Centre. He planned to “outline the Australian government’s achievements in schools since coming to office”.

Police sprayed students to stop them entering the lecture to take part in an advertised Q&A with Pyne.

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