Teachers plan strike after massive demonstration

Tourism

After bringing tens of thousands of anti-government protestors to a demonstration focused on problems with the school system yesterday, teachers called for a one-hour strike during classes on March 30.

The crowds at Kossuth tér yesterday. (Photo: MTI/Zsolt Szigetváry)

Massive crowds protesting the government’s handling of education marched up Andrássy út yesterday afternoon and rallied at Kossuth tér, outside the Parliament building, in what the Associated Press said was Hungary’s biggest demonstration since the 2014 protests against an internet tax proposal.

At the Parliament building, high school principal Istvan Pukli called for the one-hour strike and promised that strikes would grow longer until “this government understands that it cannot go against the country,” according to the Associated Press.

Braving the rain on the Hungarian National holiday, teachers and protesters called for changes in the government as they protested poor management and political interference in the education of Hungary’s children.

Teachers at the rally said that they would strike for an hour on March 30 if their demands were not met. These demands include a total dismantling of the Klebelsberg Institution Maintenance Center (KLIK), the state-run organization that provides a central administration for schools in Hungary.

Teachers and parents complain that KLIK, which was put in charge of schools about four years ago, is broke due to mismanagement, and cannot afford to pay for basic school supplies. Critics of the system also complain that KLIK promotes a politically inspired curriculum – which forces students and teachers to waste time on unnecessary classes that involve a lot of memorization and a lack of analytical thinking.

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