Budapest, January 29 (MTI) – The government’s recent setting up an education roundtable aims to provide an “honest and open” forum where issues around Hungary’s public education could be discussed, Zoltán Balog, the human resources minister, told MTI in a statement on Friday.

Children are a “number one priority” for the government, the minister said, adding that “a dialogue has started, of which children will be the beneficiaries”.

Balog criticised Hungary’s pre-2010 governments for their education policies and insisted that the current education reform was necessitated by their “serious problems”. An ill-advised financing mechanism under the previous governments led to the closure of hundreds of schools and left many teachers without jobs, while those teachers who could retain their positions were given meagre salaries, Balog said.

Hungary’s recent education reforms were designed to ensure “the best education and moral upbringing”, to which the government will provide “all assistance”, the minister said. For example, he mentioned that the government had introduced “predictable” career models for teachers and has so far spent a total 234 billion forints (EUR 748.4m) on a pay hike in the sector.


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