Photo: MTI

Protest held at Parliament against law on teachers’ career paths

Protesters including students and teachers staged a demonstration in front of Parliament against the new law on teachers' career paths on Friday evening.

As lawmakers debated the amendment proposal, representatives of teacher and student organisations and unions told the protesters in Budapest’s Kossuth Square that the bill would set Hungary’s education system back decades and destroy the country’s future.

Speakers at the demonstration organised by the Tanitanek (I want to teach) movement and the United Student Front said that the proposal severely curbed the rights of teachers and students and caused irreversible damage. They lamented that teachers had not been asked for their input during the drafting of the law and accused the government of lying about consultations having taken place.

The demonstration was also addressed by representatives of the opposition parties.

Agnes Kunhalmi, co-leader of the Socialists, said that while the ruling parties accused the opposition of lying, it was the Fidesz and Christian Democrat MPs who had been dishonest during the debate in Parliament.

Balazs Barkoczi of the Democratic Coalition criticised the prime minister for “pointing the finger at Brussels when he should be raising teachers’ wages”.

Jobbik-Conservatives MP Balazs Ander said the government was “dismantling” the knowledge of Hungary’s youth and making them “wage slaves”.

LMP deputy group leader Mate Kanasz-Nagy said the “lies that Brussels should be financing teachers’ wage hikes and that the new law would give the education system more freedom” had been “exposed”.

Parbeszed group leader Timea Szabo called it “shameful” that parliament was debating the “revenge law” behind closed doors.

Andras Ferenc Dukan, a maths teacher representing Momentum, said the government “has no qualms about destroying our students, teachers and the country’s future”.

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