French Teachers March for Reforms
Mar. 20, 1999
PARIS (AP) _ Following in the footsteps of their students, thousands of teachers from across France marched through Paris on Saturday to demand a greater say in educational reform.
Primary and high school teachers waved banners and called for the resignation of Education Minister Claude Allegre during a march from southern Paris to his offices in the city center.
``Bogus reforms. Allegre must resign!'' said one banner.
Another said Prime Minister Lionel Jospin was equally to blame for supporting his minister: ``Jospin, Allegre. In democracy you have to negotiate.''
In recent months, teachers and students alike have gone on strike and held marches, despite government promises to ease overcrowded classrooms and make more money available for education.
Teachers and students say they see no changes, and that reforms must revamp the educational system by supplying more computers and teachers, and developing a lighter course load. Teachers are also protesting moves by Allegre to limit overtime pay.
Police said 17,000 people participated Saturday, while organizers said they numbered 60,000.