Thousands join teachers in demo for school reform

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Despite the heavy rain, a crowd of more than ten thousand teachers and their supporters demonstrated yesterday in front of the Parliament building in Budapest, to demand reforms in the Hungarian education system, according to reports.

Teachers protest in Kossuth tér yesterday. (Photo: MTI/János Marjai)

Demonstrators gathering on Kossuth tér said that the system is under threat from the overwhelming administrative tasks teachers must handle, the excessive material students need to deal with in their studies – and the omnipotence of Klebelsberg Institution Maintenance Center (KLIK), a central body created in 2010 to oversee all education matters in the country.

István Gallóné, the head of teachers union (PSZ), which organized the demonstration, said in a speech at the demonstration that decisions are made by Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and government representatives just carry out his orders, online daily origo.hu reported. “If you are on a dead horse, get off of it”, Gallóné said at the demonstration, claiming that this proverb was one of Orbán’s favorites, and applies to this situation well, origo.hu reported.

“Our patience is gone, it’s been enough”, Gallóné said, and the gathered crowd chanted “We won’t let it [happen]” and “We’re not afraid”, according to origo.hu. The head of PSZ said that the Hungarian government has destroyed the education system in the last three years, and created a system that is bad for the students, teachers and parents.

László Mendrey, the head of the democratic teachers union PDSZ, told demonstrators that Orbán was right when he said that the demonstration was instigated by outside political forces, but Mendrey said the outside political power is Orbán himself, origo.hu reported.

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