The Hungarian government attaches special importance to supporting weekend schools for Hungarians around the world, as they greatly contribute to the preservation of Hungarian identity, the state secretary for ethnic Hungarian communities abroad said on Friday.
According to government data, 213 Hungarian weekend schools operate around the world with a total student body of around 5,200-5,300, Árpád János Pótépi said at the inaugural meeting of weekend schools for Hungarians abroad in Budapest. The government reached out to the schools via a survey last year, garnering a response from 117 of them, he said.
Last year, the state secretariat for Hungarian communities abroad launched two schemes aimed at helping ethnic Hungarians around the world preserve their identity.
As part of the schemes, weekend schools are able to bid for a total of 200 million forints (EUR 639,000) in grants and diaspora organisations for 300 million forints, Pótápi said.
He said that in 2010, parliament decided to clear all obstacles to the “creation of a unified Hungarian nation”. It was as part of this commitment that parliament passed the law on dual citizenship and cemented in the constitution Hungary’s responsibility for Hungarians abroad. The following year saw the founding of the diaspora council which meets every year, he noted. In 2013, the government launched the Kőrösi Csoma Sándor programme aimed at helping ethnic kin around the world preserve their identity and language. This was followed by the launch of the Petőfi Sándor programme, which focuses on small Hungarian communities in central and eastern Europe, in 2015, Pótápi noted.