Budapest, June 11 (MTI) – The Tanítanék (I want to teach) movement began a demonstration in Budapest on Saturday afternoon.
The organisers of the movement expressed their anger in an invitation to the demonstration on Facebook over what they see as the government “totally nationalising schools and destroying education”.
The demonstrators will “grade” their own performance as well as the government’s, the movement added.
The demonstrators are marching from a square next to Erzsébet Bridge in Pest over the Danube to the Várkert Bazár, at the foot of the Buda Castle.
They started marching behind a banner on which was written “Let’s send a message to the government so they can understand, too”.
The line of protestors stretched from the starting point, on March 15 Square, across three lanes of the Erzsébet Bridge to the Buda side.
The protestors were joined by teachers unions PSZ and PDSZ.
PSZ chief Piroska Galló and others will give speeches when the demonstrators reach the Várkert Bazár.
Demonstrations are taking place at the same time in the county seats of Békéscsaba, Debrecen, Győr, Miskolc, Nyíregyhaza, Pécs and Szeged.
In a statement released on Saturday, the state secretariat for education said most teachers believe in dialogue rather than demonstrations in the street and political agitation, commenting on the Tanítanék protest.
Most teachers have already realised that certain anti-government forces just want to use them, the secretariat said. It is outrageous that those want to always bring teachers out to the streets who regularly refused the opportunity for dialogue and the government’s invitation to the public education roundtable, the most productive forum for the discussion about teachers and children, it added.
The government is on the side of children and teachers, and has continuously replaced, since 2010, monies taken from public education by the left, the secretariat said.
The debate over the upkeep of schools has been successfully resolved thanks to the public education roundtable: the state has taken responsibility for maintaining and developing schools, the secretariat said. The system of local councils maintaining schools has failed, nearly bankrupting local governments, thus it cannot be reintroduced, it added.