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School protest in France

Thousands of lycee pupils have taken to the streets in several French towns this week, mounting protests over lack of facilities, absent teachers and overcrowded classes.

They claim an urgent action plan promised after last year's nationwide lycee strike has not been fully implemented. But an education ministry spokesman said only 140 schools out of 9,000 had problems.

The protests started in the south, with 3,000 in Avignon and 2,500 in Toulouse, and spread to the region around Paris.

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