Teachers in Argentina are in the forefront of a massive struggle in the country against the pro-rich policies of billionaire president Mauricio Macri. Inflation in the country is running at 40%, millions are living in poverty while public services are being cut to the bone, including mass sackings. This is being done in the name of balancing the books. Meanwhile the rich continue to get richer.
Last Wednesday hundreds of thousands of teachers marched in the capital Beuneo Aires, demanding a properly funded public education service. Middle class and better off parents have left public schools in droves, while the public sector, which is almost exclusively used by poor families, is desperately underfunded. Teachers are demanding universal, properly funded public education as well as pay which keeps pace with inflation.
Ironically Macri, in a speech about the protests, complained that the results in public schools of national testing were 'lamentable' and very different from those in private schools. There couldn't be a clearer example of the 'reform' policy of running down public services, while introducing punishing accountability measures, in order to denigrate the efforts of those working in them, and thus justifying yet more privatisation.
Teachers in Buenos Aires called for a further 48 hour strike today and tomorrow and teachers will be taking part in the general strike which is planned for April 6th.