Hundreds of schools join 1-hour teacher strike

Initiatives

Hundreds of schools today joined a one-hour strike, in which teachers stood outside of schools instead of running classes between 8-9 am, to show their discontent with the administration of education in Hungary. The work stoppage was technically illegal.

Teachers, students, parents and passers-by join the one-hour strike in front of Kölcsey Ferenc Secondary School. (Photo: MTI/Szilárd Koszitcsák) 

Teachers, who say they are protesting because the Hungarian education system needs urgent changes, were joined by passers-by and parents who support the protestorsʼ goals.

The strike was organized by the Facebook group Tanítanék, (I want to teach), which was set up by István Pukli, principal of Teleki Blanka secondary school. Pukli said after the strike that protestors are calling on to the Hungarian government to engage in negotiations with the group. If the government does not initiate negotiations with their group in the upcoming two weeks, more action will be taken, Pukli said, according to index.hu.

Following the strike, State Secretary for Education István Palkovics said he does not agree with the way teachers decided to sit out an hour of classes, but he once again stressed that teachers joining the movement need not to be afraid of legal consequences. He added that teachers need to make up the classes missed due to the strike.

Teachers have complained about the overly centralized system for administering schools, the lack of freedom in choosing text books and the excessive amount of seemingly unimportant required classes that stress memorization over critical thinking. Teachers say they are also upset about their low salaries and the lack of funding for basic supplies.

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