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First public education roundtable meets, PSZ stays away

Interview

The first roundtable meeting on Hungary’s public education convened today with the Ministry of Human Capacities, the Democratic Union of Teachers (PDSZ) and the principal of Herman Ottó secondary school in Miskolc in attendance, however, the Teachers Union (PSZ), which is planning a demonstration for Saturday, was absent, according to reports.

Those who attended the meeting expressed their satisfaction following the roundtable discussion, claiming that representatives of the government, including minister Zoltán Balog, were understanding and open to constructive criticism. The government promised to reorganize the budget of the Klebelsberg Institution Maintenance Center (KLIK) – the centralized education body set up by the Fidesz government. It also promised to provide bank cards for principals to cover costs incurred by schools and decrease administrative tasks that teachers claimed were overwhelming, and took away valuable time they could otherwise spend with their students.

PSZ stayed away from the roundtable meeting, and is planning a nationwide demonstration on Saturday, but prior to that representatives of the union are scheduled to meet representatives of the ministry and also minister Balog, to discuss their 25-point list of demands, which also includes retaining the autonomy of schools and taking back centralized power from KLIK.

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