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Education has become a key issue ahead of the April 8 general election, and opposition parties are upping the ante on related spending.

The green opposition LMP’s prime ministerial candidate Bernadett Szél said on Thursday “the future lies in education” and promised to spend every fifth forint on education.

“The difference between ruling Fidesz and LMP is that the current ruling party steals every fifth forint, whereas LMP will recoup the stolen money and invest it in education,” she told a press conference.

She said Hungary’s Fidesz government had harmed education more than any other, reflected by the deterioration in Hungary’s PISA results.

Centralisation has proved to be failure, she added, referring to the government’s policy of taking over the key functions of running schools from the local authorities.

LMP co-chair Ákos Hadházy said European Union funding for education in Hungary was in the range of 100 billion forints (EUR 320m), but much of this money, he insisted, had been stolen, while poor curriculums and textbooks were the result.

The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) promised to increase teachers’ wages by 15 percent on average in the event of winning power. “Young teachers at the start of their career will get a 30 percent increase” and teachers of people with disabilities or with a disadvantaged background would get 20 percent more than their current pay, DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsány told a press conference on Thursday. The former PM also promised to reform the entire system of public education and higher education.

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Source: MTI

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