Budapest, January 11 (MTI) – Addressing concerns that Hungary’s public education system has become too centralised under the Fidesz government, the official in charge of the country’s schools and universities outlined a new structure for overseeing schools which involves school district centers tasked with coordinating decisions and services locally.
László Palkovics, the state secretary of education at the human resources ministry, told public television on Wednesday that the government had taken onboard criticism that the state body responsible for running the country’s public schools (KLIK) was too centralised and decision-making was far-removed from the schools themselves.
Accordingly, 58 education district centres have been established closer to the schools so as to better cater to their individual needs, he said.
Defending the government’s career model for teachers which links further training to their paygrade, Palkovics said educators must regularly brush up their knowledge in today’s fast-changing world. An emphasis should be placed on practical knowledge which teachers can apply in their schools, and the universities where teachers have graduated from provide the best venue for such training.
Palkovics also touched on the results of the international PISA assessment of students in a separate interview to public radio, insisting that everyone had a stake in improving academic results, and education management should focus on content and training while those responsible for maintenance should be given the proper means to carry out their tasks.
Hungarian students performed worse in reading comprehension and science in the PISA test conducted in 2015 compared with 2012. Participants in the 2015 test showed similar results in maths as three years earlier. But in all three areas they scored below the average of OECD countries, the report said.