From Hungarian literature to information technology, there is a general shortage of educators for every school subject across the country. Many positions are filled by retired employees or substitute teachers.
We are only two weeks away from the start of the new school year, but as Szeretlek Magyarország reports, over 1,100 positions are still vacant in Hungarian schools. The Democratic Union of Hungarian Teachers (Pedagógusok Demokratikus Szakszervezete) claims that this number is even higher due to the extensive use of assignment contracts.
“Daycare classes are, for example, mostly held by retired colleagues who are employed through an assignment contract,”
says Erzsébet Nagy, head of PDSZ in the city of Pécs. The trade union is therefore requesting an exact figure from the government as to how many classes are actually affected by the vacancies.
Teachers have been trying to tackle the shortage by substituting each other in classes, but this results in an increased work burden, and the question of overtime payments is not quite settled, either, says Zsuzsa Szabó, head of another trade union, the Hungarian Trade Union of Teachers (Pedagógusok Szakszervezete).
Szabó added that the most affected areas are the less developed settlements with a small population, as finding people for these positions is even more difficult in these places.
The Ministry of Human Capacities denies the fact that teachers have lost their jobs due to the current pandemic. In their statement to the RTL Híradó news programme, they wrote that “if teachers change their jobs, this is the time of the year to do so”, and added that they do not have any records on how many vacant positions there are at public, private, or church-run schools.