Student protests in Italy and Slovakia, 2005

Two short articles about school and university student demonstrations, March 2005.

Slovakia: Fourth student protest this year
17th of March. For the fourth time this academic year, hundreds of students gathered in the streets to protest the proposed law requiring university students to pay tuition fees. Last time they gathered in front of the Government Office, while this time they protested in front of the Slovak parliament. Students showed their dissent by chanting slogans, carrying banners and demanding, once again, Education Minister Martin Fronc’s resignation. The rally was organised by the ad hoc created Student’s Strike Committee, which describes itself as an independent body struggling for the rights of students and high-quality university education. The students asked the deputies to come out and support them. However, only the communist party representatives and one independent deputy did so. The protesters argued that the reform doesn’t guarantee an increase in quality and that paying for university would start a scheme that can be described as “I am paying, so give me my diploma”. According to some recent studies, over 30 percent of students plan to leave to study abroad, if the tuition fees are indeed introduced.

20th of April (SMI). Thousands of secondary school students across Slovakia called for Education Minister Martin Fronc to resign in a national protest on April 20. The demonstrations came as a result of problems in this year’s school leaving examinations as well as because of the new system of leaving exams as a whole.

Italy: Don’t Work, Be Happy...
18th of March. ...slogan of school students on the demonstration of public sector workers. On the 18th of March over 200,000 public sector workers marched in Rome protesting against the fact that the government hadn’t prolonged their work contracts. The social workers demanded to be employed by the council. Home care and work in youth centres is often organised by so-called cooperatives. The workers employed by cooperatives have limited contracts, don’t get paid holiday and sick pay.

From prol-position news #2, 5/2005