By Maria Paz Salas
SANTIAGO, Chile (AA) – Twenty high school students broke into the courtyard of the government palace here while denouncing the slow pace of the country’s educational reform promised by President Michelle Bachelet.
The students posed as a delegation of tourists visiting the palace and asked permission for a group picture in front of the building.
Once inside, they shouted slogans and displayed banners.
Before being arrested, they managed to deploy a sign that said: “Notification: now the offensive begins. You failed”.
Palace guards pushed the group to a nearby park where they continued the demonstration.
Students are demanding extensive reforms to the educational system that was inherited from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet who ruled from 1973 to 1990.
The most pressing demands include free education and higher quality and standards for teachers.
“Today the Chilean students broke into these dependencies to notify the government and the president that they failed,” they said in a letter to authorities.
In response, Bachelet urged patience. “We all want to go faster in the progress of the education reform, but the truth is that it is being discuss where it belongs, in the Congress,” she said during a press conference.
Interior Minister, Jorge Burgos, dismissed the protest and said new measures would be implemented to improve security at the palace.