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Teachers in Hungary file a petition calling for urgent reforms

origin 1Teachers in Budapest march to parliament urging education reforms. November 26, 2022 ©ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP or licensees

Hungarian teachers’ unions have petitioned the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Budapest, asking the government to urgently reform the education system and raise teachers’ salaries.

Teachers, parents and students have been demonstrating for months.

The government closed the Ministry of Education and incorporated it into the Ministry of the Interior, headed by a former police officer.

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Thousands march on parliament

After submitting the petition on Saturday, thousands marched to parliament.

One teacher said she was asking for “freedom of education, an independent education ministry and above all a salary increase because there will be no young people who will take our place and continue to teach”.

Another said: “We are demonstrating why our education system can no longer be called a system of anything, it is a hot pile of mess as it is. It needs radical and comprehensive reform.”

President Orban has said he will only raise teachers’ salaries if the EU releases funds it has withheld in a row over the erosion of democracy.

The EU accuses Hungary of undermining the rule of law.