September 19, 2010
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The highest official for education, secretary of state Rózsa Hoffmann (who became famous for starting her job with cancelling the newly intorduced prescription that kindergarden should not reinforce stereotypes, including gender stereotypes), intends to make a new law on education and higher education. To this aim, she organised a secret experts meeting in August, and the group of experts has already prepared a blueprint for the main issues – a 43-pager for primary and secondary education, while the tertiary sector got 9 pages. FigyelőNet got a copy of it.
While there are positive suggestions such as improving teacher training, increasing the time children have to psent at school, and having more sports lessons, there are some disputable ideas, such as the one saying preference should be given to other languages than English – instead of English, not along with it (let’s be realistic: nowadays, if you have a BA, you won’t get a job with at least some English).
While according to the blueprints, the direct state subventions for schools maintained by the local governments are to be increased to 90% of the total cost, these subsidies will amount to 100% in the case of faith schools.
The members of the experts’ group are held secret (accodring to the ministry, the membes do not receive any money, and some of them don’t want to have their names disclosed) by the ministry, but according to FigyelőNet ‘compared to the fact that faiths schools tot up to about seven percent of the sector, faiths schools are — to put it mildy – overrepresented in the shaping of the strategy dealing with the hole system.’ The somwhat piqant part is that though the minister is a member of both Fidesz and KDNP, Fidesz’s experts are not involved in the preparation. Or in other words: a party that would get around 1% of the votes if they had to run independently of Fidesz is shaping edcuation accodring to their private agenda.