• Sunday, May 31, 2020
  • Last Update : 07:03 pm

Chilean university admissions tests hit by fresh protests

  • Published at 10:22 pm January 7th, 2020
University Chile
Demonstrators burn university entrance exam papers during a protest against Chile's government in Valparaiso, Chile on January 6, 2020 Reuters

The test had been suspended twice since November amid widespread social unrest in Chile that has left more than 27 people dead

University entrance exams to be taken by 300,000 students around Chile were disrupted in some cities on Monday by fresh protests over inequality and elitism, with some students blocking access to test sites and burning exam papers.

The authorities suspended the university selection test - known locally as the PSU - in 64 of more than 700 exam centers around the country, citing in a statement the safety of students, staff and exam materials.

The test had been suspended twice since November amid widespread social unrest in Chile that has left more than 27 people dead, thousands injured and thousands more arrested.

With the unrest dwindling to a handful of smaller protests each week, the test had been rescheduled to this week, only to face calls for a boycott by student union groups that claim the admissions system privileges those who attend better schools, in better areas and have better resources to prepare for it.

"We will continue to fight against market education and for a country where poor and working-class children can study without competition or segregation," the Coordinating Assembly of Secondary Students (ACES) said in a statement on Twitter.

Students protested outside exam centers in cities around the country, including Santiago, the capital, the coastal city of Valparaiso and Calama to the north. Students carried banners calling for a more equitable education system.

In some cases, students blocked access to the sites, disrupted the exams, vandalized classroom furniture and burned exam papers. Eighty-one people were detained for damage and public disorder, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Education undersecretary Juan Vargas said those affected by the suspensions would be able to complete the test later.

"That group of young people who have been affected will have a solution, an alternative, to take the PSU," he told reporters in Santiago.

In recent years protests by Chilean students over the country's highly privatized education system have made global headlines and brought pledges of reform including making higher education free of charge, improving quality and widening access to more people.

Since October, Chile has been rocked by broader protests that started over a hike in public transport fares and broadened to include calls for better pensions, healthcare and education.

blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail