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KLIK closing apparently not on table in teacher talks

The Hungarian government is ready to negotiate with teachers, but the idea of eliminating centralized control of education will not be entertained, Cabinet Chief János Lázár said today, commenting on the demonstration held by teachers yesterday and a demonstration scheduled for February 13, according to reports.

Government spokesperson Zoltán Kovács and Cabinet Chief János Lázár. (Photo: MTI/Tibor Illyés)

Speaking at his weekly press conference, Lázár said an investigation must be carried out to determine the “figures and results” in the education system. The system in place prior to 2010, however, cannot be reintroduced, because it failed as evidenced by the performance of students, which has been deteriorating since 2003, Lázár said.

“We cannot return to an education system that was segregated and encouraged differences,” Lázár said according to reports. The minister noted that “seeking confrontation” is never an option; everybody should settle the issue by “sitting at the same table”, according to reports.

Commenting on the demand of teachers who are urging the government to shut down the Klebelsberg Institution Maintenance Center (KLIK), the central body of the education system, Lázár reportedly said it is not a matter of debate whether the body would be shut down. He said that it is the prerogative of the government to determine the structure it wishes to maintain.

He added, however, that the operations of KLIK will be investigated, since he was able to list more negative points about KLIK than the demonstrators, online daily origo.hu reported.