Demonstrators, including students, teachers, left-wing politicians and opposition activists, staged a protest for the development of education and the appreciation of teachers in Budapest on Friday.
The demonstrators urged the government to devote greater attention to public education. They called for a solution to the shortage of teachers, keeping the teaching material to an amount that is “teachable and learnable” and for “liveable schools”.
The demonstration organised by the “Students for Teachers” Facebook group started at St Stephen Square in downtown Budapest, from where the protestors made their way to Fővám Square, chanting slogans like
“Free country, free education!”
and “No teachers, no future!” Several opposition politicians like Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony, Péter Márki-Zay, the united opposition’s prime ministerial candidate in the spring general election, and lawmakers of the Párbeszéd and Socialist parties could be seen among the protestors.
At Fővám Square, several teachers and students addressed the crowd, calling on the government to increase spending on public education, and on teachers to hold a strike. They asked the public to show solidarity in the interest of the development of education.
Many of the protestors wore chequered shirts, an outfit that has become associated with teacher demonstrations.
Eduline.hu reported about the protest live and estimated the number of demonstrators to be thousands at around 5 PM. Here you may check out their photos of the demonstration. The “Students for Teachers” Facebook group was created in March and organised a protest near the Parliament, in which thousands took part.
However, the war in Ukraine put the movement of the teachers between parentheses, so it did not become a defining issue in the April general elections. Orbán’s Fidesz won a supermajority again, and the education secretary announced this week that the government would not put more money into the system from domestic sources. Instead, they wait for EU funds to arrive and promise they would raise the teachers’ wages to 80% of the average salary of Hungarian degree holders.
Here are two videos:
Source: MTI, eduline.hu, DNH