Students clash with police in violent protests over education spending

Police in Bogota, Colombia have used tear gas to disperse student protesters trying to reach wealthier neighbourhoods.

Thousands of students have disrupted life in Colombia's capital amid nationwide demonstrations called to press demands for President Ivan Duque to increase education spending.

By early evening, police in Bogota used tear gas to disperse marchers trying to reach wealthier neighbourhoods.

The Pencil March rallies across Colombia were the latest chapter in more than a half-dozen street protests in recent months demanding that the government boost funding for education.

The rallies across Colombia are the latest chapter in protests over funding for education. (AAP)

Student enrollment in the South American nation's public universities has quadrupled since the early 1990s, while spending has only marginally increased and activists contend quality is deteriorating.

The students protests have converged with other demonstrations against proposed tax changes that critics say will be a blow to the middle class by increasing the cost of basic goods.

Published 16 November 2018 at 12:04pm, updated 16 November 2018 at 1:32pm