Thousands of Spanish students on Wednesday demonstrated in various cities as part of the second day of strike action in protest at the spending cuts in education carried out by the government of Mariano Rajoy.
The students' union says 85 percent of students have followed the strike call among secondary students in state education as the students demand the return of 4 billion euros (about 5.24 billion U.S. dollars) which have been cut from the education budget, reemploy the 50,000 classroom helpers who have not had their contract renewed for the current academic year and also retire the recently approved "Law to Improve Educational Quality," which they view as a step backwards in education policy.
There were marches in most major Spanish cities, including Barcelona and Valencia, with the main demonstration held in the center of Madrid where Education Minister Jose Ignacio Wert was the focus of the students' ire.
This is the second day of strike action with a further strike called for Thursday. The Ministry of Education said Tuesday's strike had only been followed by 20 percent of students, while the students' union claimed 70 percent success in persuading students not to attend their colleges.
Interestingly the strikes are held at the same time that UNESCO revealed on Tuesday that Spain has the highest rate of failure in secondary education in all of Europe and that the country has the worst rate of then inserting school leavers into the labor market.
Youth unemployment is reportedly at over 50 percent in Spain, while one in three Spanish students abandon their studies before finishing secondary education.