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Pinter: 10 percent pay raise for teachers from January

Sandor Pinter, the interior minister, told lawmakers on Monday that a 10 percent pay raise for teachers from January was "definitely" in the pipeline.

The aim is for Hungarian children to be educationally competitive in the European Union, and to achieve this it was essential to increase the social recognition of teachers and boost their pay as part of a differentiated, performance-based salary system.

The law on the new teacher’s career model has been designed with this in mind, he said at his annual hearing before the parliament’s culture committee.

He said the new public education employment law had the backing of “most teachers”, with 70 percent agreeing that performance should be a factor when setting pay. Not every teacher’s salary will increase, he added.

Teachers who work in regions that are striving to close the gap with richer ones may be set 20 percent higher, in order to encourage teachers to work in more deprived areas.

With a view to reducing administrative burdens, self-evaluation has been scrapped, while principals now have carte blanche to extend the winter or spring break to take into account how tired students are, he said. Also, schools will stay open for an extra hour, until 6pm.

Regarding digitalizing the education system, Pinter said 55,000 laptops have already been distributed to teachers and 65,000 to students, and another 140,000 will be issued to students this year. Also, smart textbooks with digital content will be available and a digital log of grades and other information pertinent to the student must be accessible for parents online, he added.

In the 2022-2023 year, 10 billion forints was spent on the development of school digital networks, with Wi-Fi and smart classrooms established in 180 schools.

The minister said it should be examined whether criticisms of the national core curriculum were justified, and this would be treated as a central issue.

To ensure harmony between kindergarten, elementary school, secondary school and further education, a government education committee will be established under the leadership of the prime minister, Pinter said.

Meanwhile, the minister told lawmakers that 5,200 Ukrainian children attending school in Hungary were also provided with school materials.

Pinter said schools had maintained their financial stability and none were indebted.

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