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Hungary - Secondary Education

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceHungary - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education


General Survey: In 1999 to 2000 there were 14,155 secondary school teachers in the 1,533 general grammar schools and 26,512 teachers in the 990 secondary vocational schools. In total there were 503,617 students at the secondary level with females in the majority in general secondary schools (87,569 females and 57,641 males). In vocational schools males outnumber females (195,268 males and 162,035 females). The number of enrollments in secondary schools increased on average 3 percent per year between 1997 and 2000, but the decrease in primary and preprimary enrollments should reverse this trend in coming years.

Curriculum—Examinations & Diplomas: The most important diploma a student obtains is his or her Secondary School Certificate, which forms the basis for entering higher education or a profession. It is supplemented by an official book in which the school has recorded all courses taken and the grades received in the various examinations that are a part of the courses.

Teachers: Of the teachers in the secondary school system, most have received a university education, which is a necessary prerequisite to teaching in the school system. In secondary schools teachers tend to teach specialized subjects such as music, physical education, science, and art. With the falling number of teachers and the rising enrollment rate, class sizes are invariably increasing.

Vocational Education: As was noted earlier, a student, upon completing the lower level of primary education at age 14, can either continue in the secondary school or begin specialized technical or vocational study at a vocational school. In 1999 to 2001 there were 357,303 students and 26,512 teachers in 990 secondary vocational schools teaching 350 subjects. In 1999 the number of students in different types of secondary vocational schools were as follows: teacher training (1,684), arts (4,916), journalism and media (114), business administration (41,891), computers/MIS (7,229), engineering (27,929), manufacturing (7,909), architecture (4,939), agriculture (6,055), health (5,851), social services (2,535), human resources (8,445), transportation (4,137), environmental programs (1,996), security (3,100), and pre-vocational training (112,639). Since 1999 the government has dedicated a significant portion of its efforts to reforming the system of vocational education to create conformity with EU practices and objectives. The first measure was to provide a network of Public Evaluation and Examination Centers to standardize vocational education and training. The National Institute for Vocational Education, in conjunction with these centers, undertook an assessment of the needs of economy and recommended changes to the qualifications a student should obtain to reflect the changing labor marketplace. Finally, in January 2000 these qualifications were transferred from the Ministry of Economic Affairs to the Ministry of Education such that such qualifications were part of the educational attainment of the individual. By 2001, some 460 qualifications or 50 percent were under the Ministry of Education. Further progress in this area is being driven by Hungary's participation in the Leonardo da Vinci program that assists in aligning vocational education with future EU labor needs.

Education Outside the School System: In order to fight illiteracy and upgrade the workforce, Hungary has an extensive system of training outside the school system delivered primarily through regional job centers. In 1998 there were 103,675 participants in 5,363 vocations of which government or some other external financial source supported 36 percent. A total of 43 percent of these students were completing secondary school qualifications and 46 percent primary school qualifications. Of the fields of study of the vocational training establishments, 23 percent were in business administration; 20 percent in hospitality, trade, and tourism; 19 percent in the acquisition of computer skills; 16 percent in the industrial sector; 5 percent in health industries; and 17 percent in 7 miscellaneous fields. The institutions providing this type of private training are predominantly private companies (45 percent), autonomous bodies of existing educational institutions (47 percent), and non-profits (8 percent).

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