At its 189th general assembly on Monday, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences urged changes to Hungary’s education sector, calling it one of the state’s most important responsibilities.
In a resolution adopted at the assembly, the academy said government spending on education should at least reach the European Union average, but must even exceed it if the sector is to make noticeable progress.
The education sector requires changes that improve its chances of meeting the challenges of the future by developing students’ flexible study skills and improve conditions for creating a level playing field for students, the academy said in a statement.
But the academy added that government funding for education was currently not in line either with the level that would be required or society’s expectations.
It said that although public spending on education relative to GDP had reached the EU28 average by 2016, Hungary that same year had only spent 1.3 of its GDP on kindergarten and basic education compared with the average 1.5 percent of GDP spending in the EU28. Spending on secondary education reached 1.5 percent of GDP compared with the EU average of 1.9 percent in 2016, the academy added.
The academy said the Hungarian education sector’s problems included a rising dropout rate, a significant distortion of the structure of education,
a drop in the quality of textbooks due to a lack of professional oversight, the rising influence of family background on students’ prospects and the widening gap among regions and schools. It also said teacher wages in Hungary were still among the lowest in the EU despite the pay rises of the past few years.
Featured image: MTI