It’s been just over a week since the last big protest for education in Budapest. There, it was announced that another demonstration would be organised on 23 October.
Students and teachers are protesting about the state of education and the extremely low salaries of teachers. Yesterday, the protesters started their rally at Kálvin Square at 4 PM and continued their march towards the University of Technology, Portfolio reported.
Yesterday’s demonstration was organised by the ADOM Student Movement and the Democratic Trade Union of Teachers (Pedagógusok Demokratikus Szakszervezete, PDSZ). The protest started at 4 PM at Kálvin Square under the title “Solidarity demonstration for our teachers”. “So many people have RSVP’d to our event that we had to choose a bigger, more symbolic venue,” they wrote on Facebook, after nearly 20,000 people showed interest in the event.
The protests intensified after five teachers from Kölcsey Ferenc High School were fired for taking part in civil disobedience actions and threatened other teachers with dismissal if they took part in such actions. Yesterday, the teachers’ union said it would again demand that the government immediately raise teachers’ salaries, settle the wages of teaching assistants, technical staff and vocational training staff, and make vocational training part of public education again.
Belmondo performed at the demonstration, followed by a number of speeches, and then a performance by the band Carson Coma.
Demands were also made by the United Student Front:
- A solution to the teacher shortage!
- Usable learning material!
- More livable conditions in schools!
- Give back the right to strike!
- Pay attention to education!
The Democratic Trade Union of Teachers is also demanding the reinstatement of teachers sacked for civil disobedience, the return of the right to strike, and an independent Ministry of Education alongside pay rises.
Erzsébet Nagy, a representative of the PDSZ, said that now they are fighting not only for higher teacher salaries and a reduction in teacher workload, but also against illegal employer measures. These are attempts to suppress discontent, she added. She drew attention to the fact that teachers are leaving the teaching profession one by one, and as a result the shortage of teachers has become unmanageable.
“Everyone can see this, but the government is not lifting a finger,” she said.
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Source: Portfolio, 24.hu
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