Europe

Polish students protest against populist government

  • Students protest  in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. Hundreds of students gathered Wednesday in Warsaw and other Polish cities to protest the country's populist and nationalist government, with a range of demands that includes better ties with the European Union and protecting the environment. (AP Photo/ Czarek Sokolowski)

    Students protest in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. Hundreds of students gathered Wednesday in Warsaw and other Polish cities to protest the country's populist and nationalist government, with a range of demands that includes better ties with the European Union and protecting the environment. (AP Photo/ Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Students protest in front of the Copernicus monument in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. Hundreds of students gathered Wednesday in Warsaw and other Polish cities to protest the country's populist and nationalist government, with a range of demands that includes better ties with the European Union and protecting the environment. (AP Photo/ Czarek Sokolowski)

    Students protest in front of the Copernicus monument in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. Hundreds of students gathered Wednesday in Warsaw and other Polish cities to protest the country's populist and nationalist government, with a range of demands that includes better ties with the European Union and protecting the environment. (AP Photo/ Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Students protest in front of the Copernicus monument in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. Hundreds of students gathered Wednesday in Warsaw and other Polish cities to protest the country's populist and nationalist government, with a range of demands that includes better ties with the European Union and protecting the environment. (AP Photo/ Czarek Sokolowski)

    Students protest in front of the Copernicus monument in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. Hundreds of students gathered Wednesday in Warsaw and other Polish cities to protest the country's populist and nationalist government, with a range of demands that includes better ties with the European Union and protecting the environment. (AP Photo/ Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

Hundreds of students are gathering in downtown Warsaw and other Polish cities to protest the country's populist government, with a range of demands that includes better ties with the European Union and protecting the environment.

Many denounced an overhaul of the education system, passed recently by parliament, which will eliminate middle schools and return the country to an earlier system of eight years of primary school.

The matter has been a source of civic frustration in past months. The government says the current system isn't working well and that children will feel more secure remaining longer in primary schools. Critics say the government is using the change as a pretext for a more nationalistic curriculum with more focus on history and less on science.