It is effectively the case that the current Chilean political class, comfortably established in power for the last 30 years, has forgotten the basic ideas that formed their own educational curriculum.

Firstly, they have forgotten that they all (except perhaps some exceptions among the youngest arrivals in parliament) studied for free, affected by the same bad memory as shown by President Piñera when, a few days ago, he said that nothing in life is free. Will he have studied in one of the few countries in the world where education is not free?

Secondly, they don’t remember that the Chilean state, even when it didn’t control Codelco because it belonged to a foreign mine and when it didn’t have the high level of investment that the USA and Europe have today, was able to finance education at all levels, to award grants, lunches and accommodation to students from the provinces, to build huge educational establishments and finance research programmes in the universities.

But the students, perhaps because their studies are more recent, are very clear on the history of Chilean education. In a master class given to the senator members of the Education Committee, a few spokespeople and representatives of its student unions refreshed their memories. For example, Camila Vallejos described the education process in Chile over the last 50 years. Going back to the 50s, she recalled the high priority of education for the country as a whole and how this process led the national educational institutions to be among the most advanced in the continent. She then described the major change that occurred under the dictatorship upon the establishment of the current educational model, to conclude by condemning that this forced experiment was tried for 30 years without positive results for the country. *”We are sorry that the failure of this stage of trying the model falls to this government, but we are not demonstrating against this government, rather because the time has come to change it and not to continue trying to improve it”*, she argued with calm confidence.

Unfortunately, the lesson was not broadcast on public television, despite this being implied by a senator, which was not allowed into the room, and for modesty reasons; it was only broadcast on the senate’s official cannel that hardly anyone watches. The serious and honourable faces of the elected representatives and those appointed was not enough of a mask to hide the perplexity and lack of clear answers to the students’ lucid questions.

*”The world has changed before our very eyes and we haven’t turned a blind eye”*, explains Jorge Alcaíno, father of a university student and participant in the *“100 thousand Umbrellas”* march. *“I saw the videos on Youtube and the amount of irrefutable information that the voices gave caught my attention, along with the over-arching deal given to the senators, even showing their ignorance regarding basic issues related to education. And this is from that committee!”*

It is certain that the people in the streets today will not back down for the cold, rain, or police repression; they already form part of another world. They value non-violence as a methodology, they are not representatives of “youth political groups” nor are they spokespeople in favour of political parties, they are neither anti-establishment but rather inventive. They don’t talk about themselves, but recall the basis for voting, they are neither charmed nor terrified of the press and the inherent fame of the key role that they play, nor by the nation’s “authorities” of the senators whom they neither elect nor recognise as their representatives.

They are sufficiently focused and clear on how society should function, as the student Patricio Araujo demonstrated by putting them in his place and reminding them that *“it is the people that put you here, it’s the people that made the seats that you are sitting on and open the doors for you to enter the room”, and continued reminding them “you must listen and work to respect the people”*.

*Translated from Spanish by Kirsty Cumming*