Feb. 8 - Around 2,000 public school secondary students, teachers and their union representatives march in Madrid to protest against austerity measures in public education. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) About 2,000 public school secondary students, parents, teachers and their union representatives marched in central Madrid on Thursday (February 7). The march coincided with the third day of a week-long general strike by students protesting against planned cuts in the public education sector. The cuts are part of austerity measures taken by the conservative government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to meet deficit targets set by European Union. Thursday's march -- the second in a week -- was specifically against a law proposal the government says will improve the quality of education and generate savings. Unions say the cuts will mean 13,000 temporary teachers joining the six million unemployed. They also say the cuts will undermine the education system, which suffers from one of the highest drop-out rates in Europe with about 30 percent of school leavers aged under 16 years. Although the law proposal is designed to overhaul the country's education system, some regional governments, like Madrid, began instituting cuts since last year.