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Budapest, Hungary. Photo: MTI

Hungary’s education policy is marred by centralisation and a lack of social dialogue, the head of the Democratic Union of Teachers (PDSZ) told the closing event of a protest held under the slogan “Free Education!” late on Sunday.

Tamás Szűcs told the event held at the square in front of Parliament that manual control, centralisation, the arrogance of power and the lack of social dialogue characterised the country’s education policy. “Parliament is passing everything like a road roller”, he said citing a recent amendment to the law on vocational education.

“There is no other possibility left but to protest,” he added.

If necessary the trade union will use new methods, such as civil disobedience, Szucs said.

Budapest’s new mayor Gergely Karácsony told the event that Hungary’s education system was based on a lack of trust because the government, in fear of losing power, wants to turn pupils into “subjects”.

At the recent local elections Budapest residents expressed their wish that they want to regain control over their city, he said.

He promised to launch new schemes in cooperation with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, scholarships to disadvantaged students and cooperation to all that want Budapest to become “a hub for knowledge-based development”.

The Free Education! protest was held between Friday to Sunday and was addressed by representatives of the organisers as well as opposition local council leader.

teachers demonstration
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The closing event on Sunday evening attracted a few dozens of people.

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