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Thousands of Ukrainian Teachers Protest Education Spending Cuts

Teachers Rally In Kyiv
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Several thousand representatives of the educational union picket Cabinet of Ministers of the requirement to provide education professionals and science salaries at the level established by law.

Thousands of Ukrainian teachers have demonstrated in Kyiv against drastic cuts in education funding planned by the government.

More than 6,000 teachers -- most of them women employed in Kyiv-area school -- gathered in central Kyiv and chanted antigovernment slogans as part of their protest.

Hundreds of teachers blocked an avenue heavily used by senior government officials for 10 minutes before police forced them back onto the sidewalk.

Police say they did not arrest anyone.

It was the second day of demonstrations against a plan sponsored by Prime Minister Mykola Azarov to cut the national deficit, in part, by reducing education funding.

The International Monetary Fund says reducing Ukraine's budget deficit is a key precondition for more loans, which Azarov says are critical to keep the country solvent.

compiled from agency reports