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France: Teachers stage walk out of schools over reforms
Wednesday May 20, 2015 9:10 AM, IANS

Paris: Teachers in France staged a one-day strike on Tuesday to protest the government's proposed educational reforms, fearing the planned interdisciplinary learning and schools' rising autonomy would broaden inequality.

Half of the country's 840,000 teachers walked out of classrooms across the nation, according to trade unions' figures, while the education ministry said the turnout stood at 27.62 percent.

In Paris, 10,000 people participated in the strike, teaching unions said, while police numbered the dissidents at less than 4,000, Xinhua reported.

"There is a need to reform the school system but the government proposal isn't going in the right direction. It won't resolve the difficulties of the most weak school kids and will raise inequality," Francois Portzer, head of the national union of colleges and schools, was quoted as saying by BFMTV news channel.

The controversial reform offered schools a leeway to define 20 percent of the curriculum which would increase more inequality between education systems in different schools, according to teachers.

Teachers were also against the interdisciplinary classes, arguing it would increase their workload.

"The majority of teachers are convinced that we need a reform. It is to end this school which creates inequalities. This reform aims at getting everyone up," Prime Minister Manuel Valls told French lawmakers as teachers were taking to the streets to block the said reform.

Valls said "a decree will be published as soon as possible," paving the way to implement the reform in 2016.





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