Italian teachers and students have once again hit the streets of Rome, just 10 days after protests about the latest cuts to the education budget turned violent.
Despite spending less than almost all wealthy countries on education – according to the most recent OECD figures – the Italian government has repeatedly cut spending in the sector in recent years.
‘‘We are protesting against the cuts to the education budget that were carried out by both the Berlusconi and Monti governments,” said one demonstrator.
Another student, who was in a group carrying self-made shields, said: ‘‘These are not shields to fight in clashes, we’re carrying them for effect. They have important messages on them that we’d like to send to everyone here.”
The protests went ahead without police authorisation. Security personnel stayed on high alert in case of further clashes.
Teachers and student unions are also worried about a controversial bill currently being discussed in parliament which would allow schools to bid for private funding.
Then there’s the problem of work once students leave education. The jobless rate amongst young people in Italy stands at 35 percent.