The leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) is backing a student demonstration to be held on Friday in protest against a new law making university application conditional on passing a language exam.
Such a measure would close the doors to higher education for over half of the students completing high school next year, party leader Ferenc Gyurcsány told a press conference on Thursday. “It would tread roughshod over the hopes and chances of today’s youth,” he added.
Some 450 to 500 language teachers are currently missing from public education, which makes poorer students and residents of small towns or villages more vulnerable to the law’s consequences, he said. Additionally, the current public education system only teaches languages up to a lower level than that required at university and college admissions, he said.
Gyurcsány stressed that he was not against learning languages, which he called a key asset, but calling for public schools to shoulder that task.
Answering a question, Gyurcsány said DK continued to support Párbeszéd co-leader Gergely Karácsony’s bid for mayor of Budapest.
featured photo illustration by Attila Balázs/MTI