One of the most outspoken leaders of the “I would teach” protest movement, István Pukli, announced yesterday that he is leaving the group that seeks to roll back ill-conceived educational reforms.
In an interview appearing in conservative print daily Magyar Nemzet, the director of the Teleki Blank College Preparatory High School in Budapest’s District 14 said education is important to him primarily from an educational point of view and not a political one, and he is considering launching a new initiative.
Echoing sentiments aired over the course of a series of interviews given to the Budapest Beacon and other media, Pukli said he is not a “left-wing messiah” and nobody should expect him to bring down the government.
“Our goal is the reform of the educational system and its reconstruction from the ground up,” he said. “If Viktor Orbán is not willing to reform education in the manner needed, then it will be his downfall.”
Pukli told Magyar Nemzet that it was a mistake for his movement to support the cause of accepting refugees. He said that for an organization to take a stand on such a divisive issue will cause it to lose many supporters and for people to distance themselves from the issue of education as well.
He said his opinion in this matter as well as the interview he gave to pro-government Magyar Idők would give rise to irreconcilable differences in points of view within the “I would teach” movement.
“I tried on one occasion to smooth them over but I think that afterwards a thorn remained in everyone’s side.”
He was thinking of launching a new initiative but did not wish to divulge details yet.
Pukli, who was accused by Fidesz deputy chairman Szilárd Németh earlier this year of “behaving like a trained Bolshevik agent”, has been the subject of much media speculation lately as to whether he harbors political ambitions. His answers on this subject have been inconsistent.
“I wake up each day with a different opinion,” he said.