Weekly newsletter

Teachers’ Union: Govt’s Measures Threaten Mass Closure of Schools

Péter Cseresnyés 2020.09.10.

Public education employees today are working under dangerous conditions, teachers’ trade union PDSZ said in a statement on Thursday. The organization thinks the government’s measures will result in the mass closure of Hungary’s schools and kindergartens.

The union argues the protocols in use are incidental and incomplete, and based on the feedback they received testing is typically not ordered even if someone is proven to be infected with the coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Schools Find It Hard to Comply with Epidemiological Protocols
Coronavirus: Schools Find It Hard to Comply with Epidemiological Protocols

The new school year starts in one week, which the government is planning to conduct with regular classroom teaching for the time being – digital education is not yet seen as justified. However, schools have to comply with a strict epidemiological protocol to prevent the risk of infection among students. According to Péter Horváth, President […]Continue reading

The routine according to the organization, is to immediately order quarantine for those with suspected infection, but if the employee or the student’s parent does not get their GP to order a test, it will not happen automatically. Moreover, tests are performed much later than an infected person is found, thus it becomes impossible to find out whether someone who was infected without any symptoms had passed on the infection to others.

PDSZ also criticizes that it is the non-expert school staff who are forced to create the epidemiological protocol in the institutions.

While the goal would be to avoid closing schools, with the government’s measures, this is exactly what will happen, PDSZ argues. By introducing mass testing, the spread of the infection could be placed under control at an early stage, PDSZ claims.

Hungarian Press Roundup: School Year Starts amid Coronavirus Doubts
Hungarian Press Roundup: School Year Starts amid Coronavirus Doubts

A left-wing commentator acknowledges that most Hungarians do want classroom teaching, but fears that the reopening of schools will create chaos and uncertainty. Her pro-government counterpart cautions against panic and fear-mongering. Hungarian press roundup by budapost.eu Background information: the reopening of schools on 1 September was supported by 78 per cent of respondents in (pro-government) Nézőpont […]Continue reading

The union also slams the government for doing nothing to prevent crowds and student groups from intermingling so the otherwise ordered social distancing could be practiced. According to them, this could easily be achieved if digital education was introduced for junior high and high school students.

PDSZ highlights that in this situation it is not the employer that can guarantee healthy and safe working conditions. The employer cannot order mass testing, a break, or even digital education – only the government can do that, the union emphasizes in the statement.

Featuredp photo by Péter Komka/MTI