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KLIK chief: Schools agency is broke

The head of Klebelsberg Institution Maintenance Center (KLIK), the state organization that runs schools in the country, admitted that the agencyʼs funds were so limited they could only spend money on paying wages over the past few months, online news portal origo.hu reported yesterday.

KLIK chief József Hanesz said in an interview that, with debts of HUF 17 billion KLIK does not have enough money to run schools. "We cannot pay anything but wages", he said. Last week KLIK turned to gas and electricity providers, asking them not to shut down services at schools by April 2016, even if bills are unpaid. 

Cabinet Chief János Lázár said last week that the problem was caused because, when the government formed KLIK in 2010, the state had taken over all schools that were earlier financed by local councils. 

Teachers and parents have objected to the central administration that KLIK provides, saying the body unnecessarily imposes too much control over the curriculum, forcing students to take a lot of unnecessary classes and emphasizing memorization over analytical thinking. The teachers have also complained about poor pay. To air their frustration, teachers held a mass demonstration on February 13, and more demonstrations are planned.