Teachers protesting in Bolivia against education reform were pepper-sprayed outside the Ministry of Education in La Paz by police.
On Monday, teachers from all over Bolivia marched in La Paz in the third week of protests to demand more teachers for public schools, a higher education budget, and in rejection of a new curriculum.
In the midst of growing street demonstrations against the government of President Luis Arce, protesters paralysed traffic leading to the Ministry of Education, where a police contingent prevented them from seizing the building.
Officers used pepper spray to repel the demonstrators.
Education Minister Edgar Pary said he agreed to convene an educational congress to analyse the situation of education and that the hiring of new teachers is done every year according to the economic possibilities of the State.
Pary also said that on Monday afternoon, he would meet with leaders of the union Central Obrera Boliviana (COB), to analyse demands. But teacher leaders have said COB does not represent them.
Education is free and compulsory up to high school, but workers claim that the quality of education is below that of neighbouring countries. More than 140,000 teachers depend on the public budget.