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Hundreds of students in Hungary join teachers’ rebellion over low pay

origin 1Students gather in solidarity with teachers in Budapest, Hungary ©ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP

Despite the pouring rain, hundreds of students gathered in Budapest, Hungary on Friday in front of the headquarters of MTVA, a state-owned media company.

Students supported teachers fired for rebelling against low pay and years of government neglect.

“I have spoken to many of my former teachers about this and have heard from all of them the difficulties they are going through. I want to help them. And we also deserve a better education and a better future,” said Fanni, a protester. euronews.

By lighting torches and chanting anti-government slogans, their goal was to show solidarity with teachers.

Last week, the Budapest school district fired eight teachers for daring to protest.

In December, the Karinthy Frigyes High School in Budapest had to close due to understaffing, as many teachers were made redundant or absent.

Meanwhile, Vörösmarty Mihály secondary school has been ordered an “extraordinary break” after 90 per cent of teaching staff refused to return to work following the sacking of a colleague.

Hungarian teachers are the lowest paid of any EU member state, with tellers making more money than them.

Hungary is already in the grip of a chronic shortage of teachers, with few young people entering the profession.

Even before the cost-of-living crisis, Hungarian teachers felt underpaid, earning around €520-560 a month after more than a decade on the job. In comparison, the average price of an apartment in Budapest is €400-600.

Inflation in Hungary is currently at 22.5%, which is among the highest in the EU.