- Title: Colombian teachers protest over working conditions
- Date: 31st May 2017
- Summary: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (MAY 31, 2017) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF PROTESTERS GATHERED IN BOGOTA'S CENTRAL BOLIVAR PLAZA TEACHERS MARCHING WITH BANNERS PROTESTER DRESSED AS GRIM REAPER PROTESTERS CARRYING PRETEND BLACK TOMB WITH BANNER READING (IN SPANISH): "EDUCATION" PROTESTER PERFORMING FUNERAL RITUAL AROUND PRETEND TOMB, AS IS BURYING EDUCATION PROCESSION OF PROTESTERS WITH BANNER READING (IN SPANISH): "WHO BURIES EDUCATION?", GRIM REAPER AND OTHERS WITH PRETEND TOMB (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PROTESTER DRESSED AS GRIM REAPER, LUZ MARINA, SAYING: "We wanted to represent the burial of education and how education is dying at the moment and if we do not unite and fight to improve the conditions for our children, education is going to die and this burial will end up a reality. A reality for public education, public education is dying." GENERAL VIEW OF TEACHERS MARCHING ON ROAD, LED BY POLICE CAR TEACHERS MARCHING WITH BANNERS TEACHERS MARCHING WITH A BANNER REPRESENTING THEIR SCHOOL AND CHANTING CLOSE-UP OF TEACHER'S FEET MARCHING TEACHERS WITH A BANNER REPRESENTING THEIR SCHOOL, CHANTING TEACHERS CHANTING (IN SPANISH): "TO CHANGE OUR SOCIETY LET'S GO OUT AND FIGHT. WHO ARE YOU? I'M A TEACHER" TEACHER MARCHING ALONGSIDE POLICE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) TEACHER, INGRID TARQUINO, SAYING: "The government never sees the importance of education. Public policy at certain times are not backed up with the money that is needed for it to be carried out. The story of the teachers in our country has always been to fight and to demand their rights. Everything the Colombian school system has done has been a result of protests, through union and social mobilisations." TEACHERS WITH SIGNS SPELLING OUT (IN SPANISH): "DIGNIFIED HEALTH" TEACHERS WITH SIGNS AND MASKS SILHOUETTE OF TEACHERS WITH SIGNS SEEN FROM BELOW GENERAL VIEW OF TEACHERS FILLING BOLIVAR PLAZA BANNER WITH A CARTOON OF PRESIDENT JUAN MANUEL SANTOS READING (IN SPANISH): "SANTOS YOU WERE UNABLE TO COMPLY WITH EDUCATION, ALGERIAS (A COLOMBIAN TOWN) PRESENT" (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENT OF THE COLOMBIAN TEACHER'S UNION, CARLOS HENRIQUE RIVAS SEGURA, SAYING: "Colombian teachers are on strike for education financing. In 15 years, they have taken 137 billion pesos ($47 million dollars) from the general system of participation, and of that 70 billion pesos ($24 million dollars) for education. The children do not have transport, they do not have food, they do not have educative institutions, they do not have computers or sporting or cultural facilities. That is why we teachers are always fighting for a bigger budget for education and a smaller budget for corruption." TEACHER HOLDING SIGN READING (IN SPANISH): "FECODE (UNION) INDEFINITE NATIONAL STRIKE" CLOSE-UP OF TEACHER BLOWING HORN IN COLOMBIAN COLOURS TEACHERS PLAYING DRUMS CLOSE-UP OF DRUM CROWD OF TEACHERS IN BOLIVAR SQUARE
- Embargoed: 14th June 2017 23:52
- Keywords: Colombia teachers strike demonstration education
- Location: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- City: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- Country: Colombia
- Topics: Education,Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0016J670HV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Colombian teachers took to the streets once again on Wednesday (May 31) as negotiations with the government over working conditions have seen no progress after a 20-day strike and 10 days of talks.
Hundreds of thousands of teachers have protested nationwide since the strike began on May 11, asking the government to increase investment in education, adjust the structure for raising salaries and provide more comprehensive health insurance. The teachers' union FECODE also wants more funding for food programmes, better transportation for schools and better science labs and sports facilities.
Some teachers say they have 40 to 50 students in a class, making quality education impossible.
A group of teachers in Bogota performed the symbolic burial of education, which they said was dying at the hands of the government.
Talks with the government began back in March but have stalled as President Juan Manuel Santos says the government can't meet the teachers' union demands, because it doesn't have the money.
FECODE President, Carlos Henrique Rivas Segura, said the teachers would fight for this budget, adding money should be saved from corruption.
The strike has affected ordinary families as millions of students of all ages have been stranded with no place to go while their parents go to work. For parents who can't afford a babysitter, they now have to stretch themselves between work and caring for their children.
Without an agreement, the month-long vacation scheduled in June could be starting early for many of the country's eight million children in public schools, yet when it will end remains uncertain at present.
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