Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Malawi: HIV-infected man paid to have sex with girls arrested

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

Meet Omar, the 10-year-old chef who became a social media star

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Gigantic snails are a delicacy in Ivory Coast

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

La vie en gris: The story behind France's famed rooftops

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Olympic refugee team goes for gold

Read more

FOCUS

Taiwan's nuclear dumping ground

Read more

ENCORE!

Greece: Creativity in a time of crisis

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French growth grinds to a halt over strikes

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Norway will 'move mountains' for Nordic neighbour Finland

Read more

Teachers march against government cuts

Latest update : 2008-10-20

Thousands of French teachers marched in Paris on Sunday to protest against President Nicolas Sarkozy's reform proposals for the national education system, which include slashing 13,500 jobs and modifying school district zones.

Tens of thousands of protestors marched in Paris on Sunday to press demands that the French government scrap proposed education cuts and invest in schools as the best way to confront the financial crisis.
  
Organisers of the national day of protest said 80,000 people took part in the march but police put the figure at 32,000.
  
Shouting slogans like "Banks or education: I've made my choice!" and "Investing in schools is our future", the protestors -- mostly teachers and students -- accused the government of failing to make education a priority.
  
The protest was held a few weeks before parliament is to begin debate on the education budget for 2009, which provides for 13,500 job cuts.
  
Close to 20,000 jobs were slashed in 2007 and 2008 under President Nicolas Sarkozy's plan to trim the civil service by not replacing many of the retiring employees.
  
Higher Education Minister Valerie Pecresse said the protest was "unjustified and out of sync" with reality.
  
"Education today is the top priority of the government," she said.
  
The protest was organised by 47 organisations -- parent's associations, teachers' unions and others -- in the latest show of force against the budget cuts.
  
Leading politicians in the opposition Socialist Party took part including Paris Mayor Betrand Delanoe who is the frontrunner to win the party leadership next month.
  
"This is a matter of urgency. Education is in jeopardy," Delanoe said.
  
Sarkozy campaigned for the presidency last year on a plan to trim down the civil service as part of a broader plan to overhaul the state and bring down public spending.
  

Date created : 2008-10-19

COMMENT(S)