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School books

The Hungarian government attaches great importance to the issue of European migrant crisis in television, radio and state-journalism. Now, it seems that the migrant crisis and the Hungarian government’s nationalist and Christian ideas are slipping into education, too. CNN reported about Hungarian teachers’ worry and dissatisfaction about the content of the Hungarian schoolbooks.

American journal CNN reported that new Hungarian history books that include state propaganda are now available and will be used in Hungarian elementary and secondary schools. The state-written schoolbooks praise Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán’s statement that “Hungary considers being a homogenous country as a value”, next to which statement is an ‘illustration’ of multiculturalism, where refugees are camping at Budapest Keleti railway station in 2015.

CNN asked teachers, professors and publishers, many of whom think that the Hungarian government is fighting a crusade to shape the Hungarian education based on the government’s ideas. The experts say these ideas include nationalism, willingness to get married and start a family and conserving Christian values, one of the reasons why the Central European University moved to Vienna and the gender studies program was eliminated from Hungarian universities.

László Miklósi, the president of the Society of History Teachers, says “The new books do not say anything about the actual reasons for existing problems of migration, it is only the conviction of the current prime minister”. Miklósi, who has reviewed school textbooks in the last 30 years, added that the anti-migrant rhetoric has got into classrooms and schoolyards. According to the teacher, if the teachers say “Gypsy” or “Jewish” or “Slovak” in class, kids start to nudge each other and giggle upon hearing these words.

Words like ‘migrant’ or ‘Soros‘ are now considered swearwords by many students. However, Juli Károlyi, an English teacher, added that children’s views are mainly decided at home. If the parents fall for the government propaganda, the students, especially the younger ones, will do so, too” – she said.

More news about school textbooks is that, from September 2019, around 3.5 million textbooks will not be published for schools because the Educational Office has not extended the publisher licence for them. That means 90% of private publishers will be unable to print, around 3.5 million unpublished books.


1 comment
  1. Why not ask for a comment from the government, too, instead of just quoting oppsition sources? Few people nowadays regard CNN as an authoratitive, unbiased source on anything nowadays, either.

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