Spanish Students Strike against Unfavorable UNESCO Education, Employment Data
    2012-10-16 18:25:08     Xinhua       Web Editor: Fuyu

Secondary school students in Spain held their first general strike on Tuesday as UNESCO released unsatisfying figures on student performance and employment situation for the new grads in the country.

The "Education for All" study by the UN culture and education agency showed that one out of every three Spanish students aged between 15-24 leaves their studies before completing their secondary education, putting the country way behind the European average of one in five.

The report calls these numbers "worrying," given that Spain has been badly affected by the economic crisis with a youth unemployment rate of over 50 percent.

UNESCO considers the lack of employment opportunities caused youngsters to "not take advantage of their potential, lose employment opportunities and stops them helping their respective countries back to prosperity."

This is especially important in Spain given that UNESCO considers that "Europe has to train youngsters with the adequate professional capability and the capacity to adapt to new technology."

The report also highlights that many of those who leave school early are not seeking employment, even though they are unemployed. "At least a quarter of the young Spaniards, who left their studies after ending the first cycle of secondary education and a fifth of those who ended after the next course, are not currently looking for jobs," says UNESCO.

The strike, called by the Students' Union and supported by the Spanish Federation of Parents' Associations (CEAPA), protested against the spending cuts in education being implemented by the government of Mariano Rajoy.

CEAPA spokesman, Jose Luis Pazos strongly criticized education minister, Jose Ignacio Wert, calling his policy "dreadful," and lamenting the fact Wert had refused to meet families and students.

There will be further demonstrations on Wednesday and another strike on Thursday. The students have not asked for teachers to join the strikes, explaining that the series of teachers' strikes earlier this year have already meant a serious loss of income for members of the profession.

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