High School students struck and marched across Germany yesterday in protest against classroom overcrowding, lack of teachers, and the pressure of examinations.
Some 100,000 participated in demonstrations across the country, walking out of classes and marching in over 40 cities. They protested for more permanent staff, smaller classes, and against a sped-up version of the school leaving exam, called the “turbo-abitur”. School students face intense exam pressure in Germany, where they are "streamed" at the age of 10 and selected to go to either a vocational or grammar school, often determining their prospects and chances in adult life. Demands that the pressure be relieved were made, and many teachers are also reported to be supporting the students' efforts.
A 10,000 strong protest march in Berlin ended with the invasion of the prestigious Humboldt University, where the conference room and terrace were occupied and draped with banners. There are reports of university staff battling with the students to defend statues of Hegel and Fichte, and of the university president Christoph Markschies barricading himself inside his office. 8,500 marched in Hanover, 8,000 in Stuttgart, and 6,000 in Hamburg.
The protests follow demonstrations by German university students in late October against the introduction of tuition fees, and student revolt in Italy, covered on Libcom here.