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February 24, 2014
February 24, 2014

Spain: Student if you don’t fight, nobody will listen to you

Category: Letters from home
This article is also available in: eselfrpt-pt
Spain: Student if you don’t fight, nobody will listen to you

Photos: Ismael Guye Sancho

Increased interest rates, reduced scholarships, reduced faculties, increased working hours, reduced state budget, seeking private funding, loss of power in educational bodies… Education is transformed into a battlefield οn inhospitable land.

A land that has lost 16.7% of its budget in the last four years, or in other words: €7.298 million. And further cuts of €536.6 million in 2014 adding up to the long list of cuts that have been implemented by the autonomous communities and the ministry since May 2010 (with the first drop in salary for teachers by 5%): elimination of  infrastructure works, reduced scholarships, reduced public spending… Castilla- La Mancha (with 31.1% of reduction since 2010), the Ministry of Education (with 30.4%) and Catalonia (with 24%) are at the top of the list of cuts.

Meanwhile, the cuts in the Catalan public education (about €1,076 million) have left the budget of the Department of Education for 2014 at €4.147 million. This has directly affected the teaching staff (which this year consists of 68,969 professors, 2,681 less than two years ago) and public expenditure for universities (between 2012 and 2014 public spending on higher education has been reduced by 16.6% reaching €763.5 million for 2014).

But we’re more than numbers

We are overcrowded classes in which teaching is almost impossible, we are decaying infrastructure that cannot be renewed, we are good teachers that disappear, we are compulsory attendances that make the combination of studies and work impossible, we are courses and essays that only seek productivity, we are private universities, universities that no longer foster critical thinking… We are increasingly expensive tuition, less scholarships, we are families that are drowning, months that are increasingly difficult, we are hours of study and days at the uni, we are work in the summer, on the weekend, during the week, at night or whenever, if not I cannot pay… We are dreams that are broken, students that are forced to leave their studies or emigrate.

We are strikes and demonstrations, protests, we are solidarity, support…

But above all we are people, people in search of a life and in search of freedom, people who want to build their dreams. The hope is not lost, building the future is in our hands.

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Spain: Student if you don’t fight, nobody will listen to you by Ismael Guye Sancho is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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