Wave of student protests around Italy

Student protest Friday in Milan

 ROME -- The first national student protests of this academic year are taking place Friday across the major squares of Italian cities, unions said.

 The students are taking to the streets to protest the Italian government’s policies on schools and education particularly linked to the 'Buona scuola' (the 'Good School') government initiative for education reforms and to the Gelmini reform introduced by Berlusconi’s government, and for the protection of the right to study.

 They are also protesting the model of alternation between school and work, which nurtures an exploitative attitude towards students. Further to this, they wish to highlight general unhappiness over Italy’s scholastic set-up, with overcrowded classes -- many commonly holding 40 students, and total lack of coordination with public transport to and from school.

 The unions are also against privatisation, and say that “Politicians and managers are playing with our future -- Let us stop them, let us take back what is ours -- good quality schooling for all and a fair public transport service.”

 The protest was organized by the Union of Students, with the support of Link University Coordination. The students are asking for a national law for the right to study covering the North and South of Italy, “to avoid students being left out of quality education,” they call for “a democratic school that does not base its system on a punitive evaluation or some sort of business model,” the Union said.

 Facebook events were created to spread the word about the demonstrations and to provide logistical information about the protests.

 In Milan over 4,000 students have turned up to protest, holding banners and chanting slogans like "Enough, now we decide," "For a good school, against the 'Good School'," "7th October: all in the piazza, no to law 107, no to the Boschi reform."