Kindergartens can’t refer to English education in their names, only to languages of ethnicities such as German. Moreover, they need to cancel English education.
The government, with a new decision, is making the functioning of teaching foreign languages in kindergartens impossible, whether it is English, French or Spanish – readers reached out to 24.hu. One of the kindergartens providing education in English has just been obliged to leave the word “English” from its name, referring to the teaching of the language. Moreover, it has to delete the word even from its educational program. Based on the understanding of a reader, the establishment can no more highlight the special service it gives, neither in its name nor in the detailed handout they give parents. Exceptional use of the language has been the charm of this specific kindergarten, but if it doesn’t comply with the new rule, it can simply say goodbye to its operating permit.
It is not a unique case, though; throughout the last days, several establishments received letters with the same information from their bureau of Ministry in charge. Based on the phone call concluded by 24.hu
no one thought there is any problem with the languages of ethnicities, and neither with big international kindergartens; they haven’t received any similar notice. They focused on private kindergartens run by Hungarian companies.
Demand for these institutions is big on the market as a lot of foreigners live or work in Hungary. Some of them work for multinational companies spending 2 or 3 years in a specific country before being relocated to another corner of the world. Their kids, together with those of diplomats or kids of a mixed-nationalities family, are enrolled in these English kindergartens wherever they are currently living in the world.
In this letter sent to those specific kindergartens, the bureau of Ministry of the capital led by Sára Botond, commissioner of the government, details why this measure is needed. Regarding the basic principles, based on the law on public education :
- The language of education and upbringing is Hungarian, in a school or kindergarten of ethnicity it is wholly or partially the language of the nationality, in a bilingual school – based on a different law – it is the specified language.
- In case of a foreign educational institution, law of that state needs to be in effect which recognises the institution as its own for educational purposes.
The Ministry of Human Resources has concluded, after examining the charter of foundations, pedagogical programs and the material providing information on the website of the kindergartens, that those institutions giving a qualification in a foreign language can not continue their work as Hungarian institutions of public education because of breach of the law, as they don’t do their work as institutions of ethnicity.
In case of kindergartens that are not of ethnicity, education can only be given in Hungarian and in their names, every expression referring to a foreign language, like “ in English”, are against the law of public education- writes the bureau.
As the Ministry says, the edict on the national program of kindergarten education doesn’t decide on the possibility of teaching a foreign language. Thus it can not be included in the educational program of kindergartens either.
In theory, based on the decree in order of the Ministry of Human Resources, any name can be given to a public educational institution, thus to a kindergarten as well, with the condition of not being misleading or the name not breaching any law. The bureau of Ministry says that in this case, both conditions stand.
Taking into consideration that based on the laws in effect, the teaching of the English language is not considered a language of ethnicity, kindergarten education concluded in this language goes against the laws. Kindergarten education in the German language is approved as it is a recognised language of nationality.
Based on this information, the authorities ask all those involved to act as soon as possible meaning that they have to delete any reference to the teaching of English from their name.
24.hu reached out to the Ministry of Human Resources and to the Bureau of Ministry that sent out the letter. They wanted to get some answers. Why there was a rock rolled in the way of education in a foreign language? What motivated the decision and what sanctions can be expected if those affected do not comply with the change of the name of their institution and that of their educational program? In cases when a kindergarten would like to teach a foreign language, what are its ways to do so? No answer was given before publishing 24.hu’s and our article.
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