Social Report 2018: Hungarians are frustrated and withdrawn
The report studies the situation of men and women, emigration patterns and data from the Hungarian educational system – explains the article of Szeretlek Magyarország.
The report is published every two years; the authors aim to compare the social context and the changes of the last two years of Hungary, putting it into an international context. This year’s report was published on Tuesday with a special focus on social structure, poverty and disparity in comparison to the data from other EU member states. According to the report,
Hungarians form a withdrawn, rigid and frustrated society.
The authors are tapping into the issues of convergence and falling behind in the Hungarian education system both related to domestic and European cases. An interesting factor is the result of the PISA test (Programme for International Student Assessment): Hungary stagnated in the 2000s, but from 2015 on, our results are getting worse and worse. As we have written earlier, Hungarian students are below average according to the assessment.
One of the authors, István György Tóth, thinks the key is in the school system: we have to manage our talents well and let them make use of their possibilities. The syllabuses are congested, far from being student-centred, and the young lose their motivation due to inappropriate pedagogical methods. The report also points out that adults do not want to study either. In 2002, 18% of them participated in an adult education program while this figure is only 11.4% in 2018.
“The only possible option is lifelong learning so that one would not drop out during social selection.”
-states Tamás Kolosi, the other author of the report. He experienced that the political class, which is able to influence the general public, underrates studying. As he said, the system is completely under the influence of the day-to-day needs of the job market. Politicians want skilled workers to fill in the gaps in the market, but it will not solve the problems. According to Tóth, all figures show that Hungary needs human capital to permanently be at a high-level. This does not necessarily mean high educational attainment but rather people with more flexible knowledge who are able to adapt to different needs. The educational part of the report ends with quoting Alvin Toffler’s words: “The Hungarian society has ‘future shock’. If one could stop time, they would imagine their future as their own past.”
The report compares Hungary to other EU countries in terms of the most relevant economic and social measures. From this, we can learn that development is much slower in Hungary than in Austria; what is more, Poland and Romania perform better than us as well. Although there is still a long way to go, Hungary could reach the level of Portugal in ten years.
Another part of this year’s report discusses to what extent the richest 10-20% of society is closed off from the other 80%. They think social inequalities are not so deep in Hungary, but chances of social mobility are quite slim. The upper class is completely separated from the others: it is hard to get in, but it is also hard to drop out.