Education reforms critics say overtax pupils and teachers alike brought thousands of teachers, students and union members onto the streets of Budapest on Saturday.
The government wants to centralise the education system, taking over control from local authorities three years ago and imposing new textbooks.
“Students are overwhelmed. They have to attend 35-38 classes per week, but we have to add the study time at home. So basically they have to spend more time studying than adults do working,” said teacher Istvan Suszter.
Since Budapest took control teachers’ workloads have increased as well, and the textbooks have been criticised for inaccuracies.
“The government’s policy on education is shameful. I don’t want to be the part of the system passively, I want my voice to be heard. I want them to fulfill my requirements as a student,” said one young man.
The revolt began last week when teachers in a town in the northeast refused to teach with the new books and curriculum and demanded a return to local autonomy.
A delegation from Miskolc, which held its own big demonstration last week, took part.