Teachers, students and parents held a protest march in Budapest on Friday evening demanding a wage increase for teachers and reforms in education.
The march was organised by members of the youth organisation United Students Front and it started from March 15 Square as a continuation of the “live chain” protest held earlier in the day. The participants crossed Elisabeth Bridge and marched to Clark Adam Square with police escort. Those in the front were carrying a banner that read “We are with our teachers” and chanted slogans including “No future without teachers”, “Strike is a basic right”, “We’ve had enough”, “Free country, free education” and “Silence is not order”. Speakers addressing the crowd were students, stating that it was not sufficient to demand wage increase, but an education reform was also needed. They demanded that students’ financial circumstances should not influence the quality of education they can access. They said they had already called on the public media to prepare news reports about their actions and give them a chance to express their views on television, and held a minute of silence as an expression of dissatisfaction. The demands of the United Students Front were presented, including finding a solution to the problem of the teacher shortage, introducing changes to the curriculum, better conditions in schools, “paying attention to education”, restoring the right to strike and putting an end to segregation in schools. Following the speeches, a performance was presented to the participants which involved play money being thrown around, as an illustration of money being wasted by the government on unnecessary projects instead of being spent on education.