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Clashes break out between Chilean police, students

Baku-APA. Police in Chile have clashed with tens of thousands of students protesting against the government’s educational reforms, APA reports quoting Itar-Tass.

Police used teargas and water cannons to break up the rally which was held in front of the presidential palace in Chile’s capital Santiago on Tuesday.

The protesters, who were mostly students, were seeking to pressure President Michelle Bachelet to reform Chile's education system.

They argued that the current educational reform plans do not go far enough and contradict the expectations that it created.

The president, who took office for a second non-consecutive term this March, had promised in his campaign to revamp the country’s educational system, which strongly favors for-profit private schools.

On May 21, Chilean police forces used teargas and water cannons to breakup rallies held by thousands of student and environmentalist protesters in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso.

On May 8, tens of thousands of students marched peacefully toward the presidential palace, demanding deep changes to the education system, which they say is suffering from poor quality public schools, unprepared teachers and expensive private universities.

The rally, however, turned violent in the end when hooded demonstrators clashed with police, throwing rocks and petrol bombs. Police officers reportedly used water cannon and tear gas to disperse the protesters.

Since 2011, Chilean high school and university students have been engaged in spirited protests, calling for a free and universal education system.

Protesters demand reform of the education system that would put the state back in control of the mostly privatized public universities.

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