hungary school education
Photo: MTI/Krizsán Csaba

Hungary has increased spending on education puts the country in the top league of OECD member states, a government official said on Sunday, commenting on the organisation’s annual report on education published earlier in September.

Hungary boosted spending on education by 4 percent between 2012 and 2017 as against the OECD average of 1.3 percent, Bence Rétvári said, commenting on the Education at a Glance 2020 report.

Most of the growth in spending was channelled towards a 50 percent salary increase for teachers and developments in around 900 schools, Rétvári, the state secretary of education at the Ministry of Human Resources, noted.

Hungary is steadily catching up with its western European peers,

he said.

Fully 92 percent of Hungarian children between the ages of three and five go to kindergartens or schools, thanks to legislation that made attending public education mandatory from the age of three, Rétvári said. In OECD countries, that ratio is 88 percent, he said.

In Hungary,

the number of children per teacher averages 12 while in the OECD it is 14,

Rétvári said. Most countries struggle to find enough teachers, but Hungary is better on that count than many richer countries, he said.

Regarding the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on education, the report said Hungary’s classes are not overcrowded compared with other OECD countries, so the country’s protection measures should be successful if caution is exercised, he added.

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