Student protest turns into lovefest

Sept. 2, 2011 at 5:32 PM
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SANTIAGO, Chile, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Chilean students turned what had been violent protests demanding education reform into a lovefest, as lawmakers adopted a new education funding plan.

Massive student protests have rocked Chile since May but Thursday EPA distributed pictures of World Kiss Marathon for Education at a square in Santiago. The students have been demanding better educational opportunities.

Students are seeking help with college tuition costs, The Wall Street Journal reported. The protesters also are seeking changes to the voucher system for primary and secondary schools, arguing the current system favors students from wealthier families.

The lovefest followed a Senate Education Committee vote Wednesday to adopt a bill prohibiting the government from funding for-profit schools.

Sen. Jaime Quintana told Radio Bio-Bio said the vote shows politicians are beginning to realize the current system, established during the dictatorship, cannot go on.

"Those who want to profit may continue to do so, but without the state as their partner," he said.

Critics of the measure, however, said it will lead to the closing of private schools, the Santiago Times reported.

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