Hungarian teachers hold protests against reforms

Several thousand Hungarian teachers and sympathisers rallied in the eastern city of Miskolc on Wednesday demanding Prime Minister Viktor Orban`s government reverse sweeping reforms of the school system. 

AFP| Last Updated: Feb 04, 2016, 01:13 AM IST

Miskolc: Several thousand Hungarian teachers and sympathisers rallied in the eastern city of Miskolc on Wednesday demanding Prime Minister Viktor Orban`s government reverse sweeping reforms of the school system. 
A crowd estimated at around 5,000 by local media held candles during a march through the city centre with a speaker saying the demonstrations would draw attention to the "unsustainable" education system.
Smaller demonstrations in solidarity with the Miskolc-based protestors took place simultaneously in ten cities around the country including the capital Budapest.
Since coming to power in 2010 Orban`s government has handed over many decision-making powers including finance and administration previously held by schools to a state-run agency and introduced a national curriculum. 
Teachers also say too much of their time is spent on administration tasks, and complain that wages have not been increased for many years.
The protest began last November when an open letter signed by staff at the prestigious Otto Herman high school in Miskolc was published by online media.
"The whole education system is in danger, everything has turned to chaos," read the letter which listed a series of grievances about the reforms. 
Since then, around 500 education institutions nationwide and nearly 30,000 individuals have signed the letter.
One of Hungary`s largest teacher trade unions has also organised a demonstration against the reforms to take place at the parliament building in Budapest on February 13.