There has been a lot of talk about Hungary’s new National Core Curriculum, concerning many of its aspects, such as the list of writers and poets to learn about, but the inclusion of these two topics might be surprising to many.
The author’s personal, negative tone about abortion in a textbook
A photo of a paragraph in a 12th-grade biology textbook written by Dr Gábor Lénárt began to rapidly circulate on many social media platforms. The author states his views on abortion in the text, and – among many other insufficiencies – he does not address men’s responsibilities in contraception and avoiding unwanted pregnancies, writes hvg.
The paragraph involved is approximately as follows: “Many women have a completely wrong perception of artificially terminating a pregnancy. They believe that when they decide to have surgery, they decide about their ‘own body’. Undoubtedly, it is the woman who must undergo the surgery, and she is almost exclusively affected by all the physical and psychological difficulties involved. At the same time, it cannot be overlooked that the decision is about the life of another prospective human, to whom the woman has the closest possible connection, but even from an ethical point of view, it does not justify anyone destroying a future life. ”
😠 A lenti kép a 12-es biológia tankönyv "Családtervezés" fejezetéből való, egy végzős diák osztotta meg a Twitteren a…Publicată de Tölcsér Borbála – Momentum pe Miercuri, 19 februarie 2020
The paragraph is located under the chapter titled ‘Family Planning’ and has an anti-abortion overtone. The textbook was published by the Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development (Oktatáskutató és Fejlesztő Intézet, ‘OFI’ in Hungarian).
Index contacted the publisher, revealing that the text does not address men’s responsibilities in contraception and the prevention of unwanted pregnancies. Unfortunately, the text does not inform students about the health reasons that may require an artificial termination, and sadly, the book also has many other shortcomings, such as the role of condoms preventing STDs and the potential benefits of hormonal contraception.
If you would like to know more about Hungarian education, we have an article about the problems concerning Hungarian education. If you are concerned, in this article, we wrote about the dwindling number of special needs teachers.
Distilling Pálinka is now part of Chemistry class
This is probably on the bright side of things. One of Index’s readers told the paper that the former suggestion that Chemistry classes should not be exclusively theoretical and alien to students and should instead bring everyday life closer to Hungarian pupils just came to be realised. Therefore, the process of distilling Pálinka was included among the topics to be discussed during Chemistry class.
Between 7th and 8th grade, 17 lessons are devoted to ‘From Observation to Modelling’, a part of the Hungarian Chemistry curriculum, where
suggested activities include studying the process of distilling Pálinka using video and interpreting the process,
the distillation of water or red wine, making rose water by distillation or extraction, and the separation of the dyes of alcoholic marker pens by paper chromatography.
The problem with Chemistry education is that the majority of students are not interested in it at all. The introduction to the framework curriculum states that it is very important that the discussion of both Chemistry as a whole and each individual chapter is happening through exciting questions, problems, their solutions, and, most importantly, experiments. The process of getting children familiar with everyday Chemistry should also be reinforced by the teacher who would be required to devote some attention and time to the news in the media connected to Chemistry (e.g. carbon monoxide accidents, methyl alcohol poisoning, Nobel prizes, environmental damage) and be up-to-date with the subject.
Source: Hvg.hu, Index.hu