Students in Italy protest Renzi's 'Good School' reform

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By Joanna Gill  with ANSA, AP, REUTERS
Students in Italy protest Renzi's 'Good School' reform

Thousands of students have taken to the streets of Italy to protest against education reforms, ahead of the so-called ‘Good School’ bill being debated in Parliament.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is hoping to revamp the school system via private sector funding, creating thousands of new teaching positions and introducing unpaid apprenticeships.

Students feel it is privatisation by the back door, and want their ideas heard.

This student is angry that Renzi’s online consultations largely ignored student proposals saying, “we are against the idea of education that they are proposing and we have an alternative, we have a lot of alternatives and we are a factory of ideas.”

Another protester said he was there to ask “for a school that goes beyond social class”.

Another man attending the demo said that “the government’s idea of school is wrong”, and he called for more investment which doesn’t make schools slaves to private business.

Italy spends just 4.9% of its annual income on education and ranks below the OECD average in maths, reading and science. Renzi now faces an uphill battle to push the reforms through parliament in order to achieve his dream of revolutionising the education system.