Teachers joined their colleagues in universities and other public sector workers in a national strike against the new right wing government yesterday. Teachers are protesting against the failure to honour national pay and conditions agreements, the closure of many programmes aimed at social equality, as well as the neo-liberal policies of the present government which are leading to mass lay-offs. The other main demand of the strike is justice in the case of Carlos Fuentealba, a chemistry professor assassinated by a policeman during a teachers' protest in 2007.

There was a mass protest in the capital Buenos Aires, which marched on the Ministry of Education. One spokesperson for the teachers said, 'the country needs public and popular education, with more schools and more school workers.'

Argentina has one of the oldest public and secular school systems in Latin America, which is why its adult literacy rate is second only to Cuba's and higher than that of the US. Yet the kind of policies pursued by Macri, first as Mayor of Buenos Aires and now as President  mean that this is being progressively run down, while private education thrives. 

Macri is a millionaire business man, who in Buenos Aires pursued pro rich and pro privatisation policies, which led to many sustained struggles by teachers and students in the town. Today Macri has been implicated in the off-shore tax evasion scandal, leaked in the so-called Panama papers.