Wage rises for teachers are indispensable but not sufficient to assuage their concerns, the opposition Socialist party on Wednesday, calling for a structural overhaul of Hungary’s public education sector.
“Wages hikes alone without structural changes will not be enough to tackle problems in the sector,” Socialist official István Hiller told an online press conference. Further, wage rises should be fully covered by the state budget once EU co-financing runs out, he said, referring to government plans to use EU funding to cover the wage hikes. The Socialists’ package of proposals include replacing the National Curriculum with a temporary one drafted by academics and a group of experts. It includes reducing the number of classes for teachers and students and the administrative burdens on teachers, as well as ensuring the free choice of textbooks, Hiller, a former education minister, said. The focus in public education should be on problem-solving instead of accumulating lexical knowledge, Hiller said. He also proposed setting up a stand-alone ministry of education.