Thousands of Students Rallied in Macedonia Against Education Reforms

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Tens of thousands of students rallied in different towns and cities across the Rep. of Macedonia today (Dec.10th) also marking Human Rights Day. In Skopje alone up to 15,000 people took to the streets.
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Today the students in Macedonia protested once again against the reforms in the higher education proposed by the government. After their requests were not heard and the government remained deaf for their call for debate for the reforms, after weeks of accusations and attempts to undermine the student protest, combined with reported blackmails and threats against students living in dorms for losing their accommodation, the students in Macedonia came out on the streets once again!

Students, university professors and others supporters said “No” on Wednesday to a government plan for state-supervised tests graduates, in what was arguably the biggest student protest to take place in Macedonia in two-and-a-half decades of independence.

As announced by the Ministry of Education and Science, external testing will be conducted in the form of exam twice: first when the student will complete the second year of study, with questions from all subjects from the previous two years, and again at the end of the fourth year of study. For those who will not pass the exam, it will be the end of their university education.

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Students shouted “University is the voice of freedom!”, “No justice, no peace!”, “Can you hear us now?” and “Autonomy!”, and carried banners reading: “We are students, not clients.”

Organizers and participants said they had trouble connecting to their mobile networks and accessing the internet. Many members of the press had the same problem. The protest was staged by a student organization, the Students’ Plenum. There were reports that some high school students were held locked in their schools in order to stop them joining the protest.

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Besides all that, the students, supported with the solidarity of other citizens in Macedonia came in a much bigger number than the first time, to express their discontent for the proposed reform and the unwillingness of the institutions to consider their opinion for improving the higher education.

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Thousands of students marched united, peaceful and with no incidents on the march, raising their voice for their future and their rights!

Students of the world, unite!”

 

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Macedonia: Students March in Skopje Against External Testing

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Jennifer Baker is the founder and editor of Revolution News revnewsmedia@gmail.com