Hungarian teachers are on strike today in their fight for democratic education and proper funding for schools.  Among their twelve demands, teachers want more funding, a reduced workload and an end to government interference in education. they say the government is imposing a curriculum which involves hours of rote learning, promotes a political agenda and prevents the development of critical thinking. 

The teachers union PSZ is asking people all over the country to stop work in solidarity for five minutes or to wear a blue ribbon. As they put it, 'If education doesn't work, nothing can.' Polls regularly show that the vast majority of the public support the teachers' demands. There have been mass protests in the country of teachers and supporters. They have also been supported by their students who joined protests and have taken part in symbolic actions like wearing checked shirts to school after one government minister described teachers as 'scruffy checked shirt wearing.'

One campaigning group among the teachers is called 'I want to teach'. They held an additional two hour strike yesterday to press their demands for democratic and creative education.

Labour laws in Hungary restrict the rights of teachers to strike, so the government is insisting that the teachers open the schools today - a move which the union is resisting. Parents are being asked to keep their children at home.