Despite the pouring rain, hundreds of students gathered outside the headquarters of MTVA, a state-owned media company, in Budapest, Hungary on Friday.
Students were supporting teachers fired for rebelling against low pay and years of government neglect.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of my old teachers about it and heard about all the hardships they’re going through. I want to help them. And we deserve a better education and a better future too,” said Fanni, a protester. Euro news.
Lighting torches and chanting anti-government slogans, their aim was to show their 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 because its enrollment was below the legal minimum, as many teachers were dismissed or absent.
Meanwhile, an “extraordinary break” has been ordered at Vörösmarty Mihály Secondary School after 90% of teaching staff refused to return to work following the dismissal of a colleague.
Hungarian teachers are the lowest paid of all EU member states, with cashiers earning more money than them.
Hungary is already plagued by a chronic shortage of teachers, with few young people joining 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 to 600 €.
Inflation in Hungary is currently at 22.5%, which is among the highest in the EU.