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Teachers Strike to Prevent Education Cuts



On Thursday, teachers across the Valencia region took part in strike action, after unions came together to try to prevent cuts to the education system being implemented by the PP and VOX regional government.

Just ten months after the PP and VOX government took over in Valencia, the teachers have had to protest a number of changes, including the new educational freedom law, which will allow parents to vote on the “base language” in each course of each centre and which, in practice, returns to a system similar to the double line in Spanish and Valencian, and is considered a “death blow to Valencian”, which is one of the pledges of VOX, to remove all other languages from existence.

Another reason is the entry into force of the single school district, which will allow families to choose any centre in their locality instead of being limited by the point system to the schools in the neighbourhood in which they reside. Several studies by the OECD, the University of Valencia and Save The Children conclude that this model increases the gap between rich and poor students, benefits charter schools and creates “ghetto schools”, which is why the platform calls for its withdrawal.

Budget cuts in some areas are another battlefield that has fuelled the mobilisations. The first one they denounce is the one applied to the Edificant Plan, for the construction of public schools and institutes. According to the budgets of the Generalitat, Education cuts this item by 120 million euro, 40% less than last year, which leaves dozens of works in the air.

The budget for Vocational Training also falls by 50%, from 109 to 55 million. In addition, Education recently announced that it will close 206 Kindergarten and Primary classrooms for the next academic year due to “low birth rates.”

Plus, they denounce the cuts in the Official Language Schools, for which Stepv, the majority union, estimates that 8,500 students, 244 groups and 61 teachers will be affected. The Ministry, however, speaks of “reorganisation” and explains that almost half of the EOI groups did not meet the minimum ratio of students, especially in languages ​​such as Basque, Russian, Chinese or Romanian, hence they “concentrate” groups based on demand.

The Official Language School in Torrevieja is one such college which is set to see a reduction in classes, despite the foreign interest in the area.

For their part, to local PSOE has offered support to the unitary educational strike in defence of public education, sharing the demands of the teachers. The socialists encourage workers and Valencian society together to actively support protest actions to prevent school segregation and achieve the improvement of the working conditions of Education workers, thus advancing in quality public education.

In the same way, the PSOE is against the paralysis of the Edificant Plan, which is causing a great delay in the repair and reform of school centres, these events put the safety and well-being of the entire educational community at risk.

For their part, the regional Department of Education, Universities and Employment, have been quick to claim that the strike doesn´t have the support, claiming that just 18.05% of teachers support the action to protect education.

They say that as of 11:30 a.m., 12,603 ​​teachers of the 69,840 teachers in the Valencian Community have supported the strike.

Meanwhile, the streets were filled with what looked like tens of thousands of people in Alcoi, Alicante, Dénia, Castellón, Elx, Gandia, Ontinyent, Petrer, Puerto de Sagunto, Torrevieja and València, in addition to concentrations of teachers and students in hundreds of centres throughout the Valencian territory.



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