Govt to Raise Teachers’ Wages to Keep Them in the Profession
Gábor Sarnyai 2019.03.20.
In an interview with Magyar Nemzet, Péter Horváth, President of the Nemzeti Pedagógus Kar/National Union of Teachers (NPK), revealed that 60-70 thousand teachers will retire in the next one and a half decades.
“Without raising a new generation of teachers, the education system cannot function long term. There is an urgent need for new entrants, otherwise there will be a shortage of professionals at all levels, especially among kindergarten teachers and special educators,” Horváth cautioned.
According to the newspaper, teachers can expect a 30 percent raise in 2020. With this increase, teachers with a diploma and 20 years’ experience could potentially earn HUF 391,000 before taxes. Horváth claimed that teachers want the government to adjust the career model to the minimum subsistence level and not differentiate between salaries.
NPK’s study from last year also paints a dark picture of the future of Hungarian education. The results of the study are riddled with high student drop-out rates and low teacher retention. The document reveals that teacher social recognition is below average (though, the trust index is high; teachers rank second after firefighters) and that the salary does not reflect expectations. One thousand and nine hundred graduates, approximately 1/3 of the graduating class of 2013, left the education system in 2018. And what’s more, many do not even graduate.
Additionally, the NPK advised that entry-level teachers be supported with scholarships, housing support and faster promotion schemes. Horváth explained that it would also be prudent to support those studying education in the pursuit of another degree to create fringe benefits for future teachers.
The educators’ strike came to an end last week in all four school districts. With the exception of those at a few vocational training centers, teachers were unable to go on strike. Often, less qualified teachers remain in the profession due to high levels of career abandonment. In four out of the 60 Hungarian school districts, the parties agreed to offer sufficient service during the strike. At the last minute, however, the employer forbid the remaining four districts from striking as planned. Pedagógusok Szakszervezete/The Teacher's Union (PDSZ) declared that this act defies the rule of law.