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article imageStudents in Chile stage hunger strike

By Samuel Okocha     Jul 22, 2011 in World
Twenty students in and around the Chilean capital of Santiago are on a hunger strike aimed at pressuring the government to ensure a better education system.
The students embarked on the current action after President Sebastian Pinera reportedly failed to respond to weeks of student protests and school occupations.
Spokeswoman Laura Ortiz says the hunger strike which began at the start of the week with eight participants has grown to 20 with more expected to join.
According to the Associated Press, the protesting students are calling for more funding for education, a free transportation pass for students and greater state control of education.
“We started the hunger strike because we feel that we’ve been overlooked by the state, because we found that the state has not provided a solution to what this movement is all about,” Nathan Frandino of Santiago times quotes Matías Villegas, another spokesperson, as telling Radio Cooperativa.
Villegas said they would continue the strike to help direct attention on the high schools, which he said President Sebastián Piñera has ignored in his recently announced plan for education reform.
“The government is fully dedicated to improving the quality of our education,” AP quotes Government spokesman Andres Chadwick as saying as he tries to assure the striking students on the need to end the protest.
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