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A new round of teachers’ protests

April 22nd, 2016

As teachers organize a full day strike demanding education reforms and higher salaries, a pro-government and a left-wing commentator agree that it is unlikely that teachers will achieve their aims.

On Wednesday, around 25 thousand teachers participated in a one-day strike in more than one thousand schools. Their demands include higher salaries, a lighter teaching load and a less centralized education administration.

The show goes on, Ferenc Kis comments in Magyar Idők. The pro-government columnist writes that the strike was less than popular even among the teachers themselves, as only around 20 per cent took part. Kis finds it peculiar that some teachers should protest while the government is actively involved in discussing the reform of the education system at roundtable discussions where teachers and education experts are also represented. Kis thinks that the strike is nothing more than a political stunt orchestrated by opposition parties and unions hostile to the current government. In conclusion, he claims that teachers set a bad example for young Hungarians by continuing what he considers a pointless ‘permanent protest’.

In Népszabadság, Miklós Hargitai thinks that the teachers’ strike was far from successful. The left-wing commentator thinks that teachers missed a crucial opportunity when they remained silent when the government centralized the education system without consulting education experts, and introduced a new curriculum which, according to Hargitai, is dominated by Christian conservative ideology. In order to get what they want, teachers need more organization and better mobilization, Hargitai recommends.

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