Hundreds of thousands of teachers, students and parents took to the streets of Rome and other Italian cities on Thursday, to protest conservative Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s multi-billion-euro education cuts.
Organisers said up to one million people marched in the capital while nine in ten schools across the country were closed.
The Senate on Wednesday approved cuts of more than nine billion euros (11.6 billion dollars) in education spending for the loss of 130,000 jobs in primary schools.
The reforms include a return to the practice of having only one teacher per primary school class and cutting the amount of teaching time starting in the 2009-10 academic year.
Universities, which also face budget cuts, plan a general strike on November 14.