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The Neoliberal Education System in Chile

For the last 30 years, the principal function of the Chilean educational system has been to expand the accumulation of capital. This has been done through the deepening of the educational model first developed by the dictatorial regime of Augusto Pinochet, a task the post-Pinochet governments of La Concertacion were happy to carry out. Central to this model was the transfer of fiscal responsibility for elementary and secondary education to the municipal level, while providing subsidies to private schools. Recognizing the unpopularity of this model, the current neoliberal right wing government led by the billionaire, Sebastián Piñera, sought to reform the system by increasing the privatization of elementary and secondary education.

At the post-secondary level, the government has allowed a steady increase in tuitions. Currently, students in Chile pay an average tuition of 300,000 pesos ($630) per month, making this one of the most expensive post-secondary education in the world (particularly relative to income levels). Not surprisingly, privatization has opened the door to transnational capitalists, particularly banks who have been more than happy to provide students with ample debt loads to finance their studies. In addition, the post-secondary system is highly class divided. Working-class students receive a second-rate education at the elementary and secondary level and at underfunded public universities where they are taught to be followers and prepared for a routine life of unskilled, low-wage and precarious employment, if not unemployment. In contrast, upper-class students attend private schools and universities where they are socialized to internalize the prevailing values of free markets and individual success with the hope of one day obtaining a management position at a large corporation.


‘Our future is not for sale’: The Chilean Student Movement Against Neoliberalism | Solidarity 2011-09-06
Reposted bydatenwolfdatenwolf

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