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Hungary

Hungary

6. Education and Training

6.3 Preventing early leaving from education and training (ELET)

On this page
  1. National strategy
  2. Formal education: main policy measures on ELET
  3. Addressing ELET through non-formal and informal learning and quality youth work
  4. Cross-sector coordination and monitoring of ELET interventions

National strategy

 

In 2016, the Hungarian Government set up a 'Medium-term strategy against leaving school without qualifications' [('A végzettség nélküli iskolaelhagyás elleni középtávú stratégia')] to tackle early school leaving and to increase employment, for which the cross-sectoral cooperation (education, training, employment, health care, law enforcement and social policy) is important. The timeframe of the strategy is 5 years between 2016 and 2020. The strategy also defines individual, institutional and system-level tasks (feladatok):

Its main goals at the individual level are:

  1. person-oriented, differentiated education and support,
  2. encouraging learning, preventing backwardness and disappointment,
  3. appropriate intervention,
  4. creating incentives for institution financing.

Institutional Objectives:

  1. providing adequate training and professionals,
  2. development of institutional public services,
  3. collaborative, adaptable learning organisation and management.

At system level:

  1. implementation of cross-sectoral cooperation,
  2. providing adequate education and training structure,
  3. developing sectoral responsibility,
  4. creating an appropriate financing system,
  5. creating flexible, effective regulation,
  6. creating an information system.

The Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma) is responsible for the implementation of the strategy, including the State Secretariat Responsible for Public Education (Köznevelési Államtitkárság). Although he strategy was adopted in 2016 its audit has not yet been released, but some measures have already been taken according to the information provided by the Ministry in 2018, such as:

  • From September 2015, the kindergarten is compulsory for children from year 3. It aims to ensure educational successfulness.
  • The early warning and pedagogical support system was introduced (see below).
  • There is a system for controlling and monitoring the work of the teachers by the Educational Authority (Oktatási Hivatal).
  • Pedagogical Educational Centres (Pedagógiai Oktatási Központok) were established to coordinate controlling and monitoring at the local level.
  • The expectation and recognition of competencies of inclusive education are included in the qualification procedure of the teachers.

Those teachers who work with disadvantaged students (for example, Roma children) are entitled to extra pay from January 2019. 

According to the information provided by the Ministry in 2019, the responsible authority for the audit is the Ministry for Innovation and Technology (Innovációs és Technológiai Minisztérium) and the planned date of the end of the audit was the end of 2021. Still, the report is not available so far.

The Public Education Strategy made for the European Union 2021 - 2030

According to the information provided by the Ministry in 2021, there is no plan to have another strategy with the specific aim of tackling early school leaving, but this topic was included in the new Public Education Strategy made for the European Union (az Európai Unió számára készített köznevelési stratégia 2021 - 2030) adopted by the Hungarian Government in 2020. One main aim of the Strategy is to develop access to qualitative and fair education, prevent early school leaving, and develop qualifications. In relation to this aim, the development areas are

  • decreasing the number of those students who underperforms,
  • further development of the the early warning and pedagogical support system,
  • development of the underperforming schools,
  • supporting the education of the children with special educational needs,
  • supporting the students with strengthening the cooperation between the educational institutions and families,
  • programmes for the development of the basic, digital and foreign language skills of the disadvantaged students,
  • unique methodological and resource support for the disadvantaged student groups.

 

Early warning and pedagogical support system for preventing early school leaving

The amendment of the Government regulation no. 229/2012 (VIII.28.) on the implementation of the Act on National School Education [nemzeti köznevelésről szóló törvény végrehajtásáról szóló 229/2012. (VIII. 28.) Korm. rendelet] entered into force on November 19 2016. The regulation introduced the early warning and pedagogical support system for

  1. the prevention of early school leaving and
  2. the commencement of related institutional and state tasks at the national level.

The support system is intended to contribute to the achievement of the 'Medium-term strategy against school leaving without qualifications' ('A végzettség nélküli iskolaelhagyás elleni középtávú stratégia'), and to help achieve the targets of the Europe 2020 strategy, namely that the proportion of early school leavers in Hungary should fall to 10% by 2020. The system draws attention to situations and areas requiring development (fejlesztendő területek) that, if recognised in time, might prevent the dropout. These are usually linked to

  1. declining school performance,
  2. problematic behaviour,
  3. regular absence from school,
  4. problems in the family.

The target was approximately reached in the second half of the 2020/2021 academic year,. The rate of early school leavers was in only 3 counties and in 1 region higher than 10% (Oktatási Hivatal, Kimutatások, 2021).

Formal education: main policy measures on ELET

Scholarships for preventing early school leaving

The Arany János Talent Program (Arany János Tehetséggondozó Program), Arany János College Program (Arany János Kollégiumi Program) and Arany János College-Vocational School Program (Arany János Kollégiumi-Szakiskolai Program) are complex support schemes for socially disadvantaged students, which supports the upper secondary education of young people, thus trying to prevent early school leaving. The development of the Arany János Programs is also part of the aforementioned goal of the 'Medium-term strategy against school leaving without qualifications' ('A végzettség nélküli iskolaelhagyás elleni középtávú stratégia') as it aims to provide complex-pedagogical, social, health and cultural support for dropout groups of students. Further program developments focus on specific objectives and target groups (Arany János programok). For more information about scholarship programmes, see sub-chapter 4.4 Inclusive Programmes for Young People.

The 'Road to School Scholarship Program' (Útravaló Ösztöndíjprogram) was set up to provide support for disadvantaged youth (mainly Roma) to prepare for further education or finish their current studies in primary or secondary education. According to the information provided by the Ministry in 2021, almost 10 000 students acquire professional and financial support in each year and in the 'Road to Diplome Program' (Út a diplomához program) in the 2020/2021 academic year 507 students have a scholarship in the frame of the Program and 170 of them were Roma.

The Roma Girls Incorporation Program (Roma lányok korai iskolaelhagyásának megelőzése) also aimed to prevent school dropouts by increasing the learning motivation of Roma girls aged 10 to 18 years. In the programme frame, almost 2000 Roma girls were mentored by 440 mentors of 87 organisations, between 2017 and 2021. They helped them in their school work and coached them in their labour market skills. For more information, see sub-chapter 4.4 Inclusive Programmes for Young People.

The Complex Basic Program

The Complex Basic Program [Komplex Alapprogram (formerly called the KOALA-program)] was set up in 2017 to focus on

  • differentiated development,
  • cooperation, and
  • equal opportunities

by providing specific opportunities and compensation for disadvantaged groups (for example students with disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, such as families with very low monthly income or Roma children) by introducing new principles and methods personally. The general aim of the program is to develop the work in those classes where there are children with different skills, performance, and who are coming from different socio-economic bacgrounds. Therefore, the programme also supports talented students. Its main goal is to teach the 'practical' knowledge of life within the framework of formal education and to make children feel better at school.

The Program is coordinated by the Eszterházy Károly University and 173 primary school participated (részvétel) in the Program till October 2019.

The School Education Bridge and the Springboard Program

The adult education programme of the Ministry of Human Capacities, the School Education Bridge Programme (Köznevelési Hídprogram), helps the return of early school leavers to education. It aims to introduce young people to vocational training that meet the needs of the labour market.

The programme was launched in 2013, and those young people can participate in it, who

  • have not finished their basic education,
  • have successfully completed at least six primary school years and
  • have reached the age of 15.

The program is divided into two parts:

  • the School Education Bridge Program (Köznevelési HÍD – program), and
  • the Springboard Program (Dobbantó - program) that replaced the Vocational Training Bridge Program (Szakképzési HÍD – program) from September 2020.

First, the School Education Bridge Program (Köznevelési HÍD – program), for which the Klebelsberg Center (Klebelsberg Központ), and the Educational district centres (Tankerületi Központok) are responsible. Second, the Springboard Program (Dobbantó - program) [formerly the Vocational Training Bridge Program (Szakképzési HÍD – program)], for which the Ministry for Innovation and Technology (Innovációs és Technológiai Minisztérium) is responsible in general, and the Vocational Training Centrums (Szakképzési Centrumok) are coordinating at local level.

According to the government’s regulation [12/2020. (II. 7.) Korm. rendelet a szakképzésről szóló törvény végrehajtásáról]

'the Springboard Program is open to students who have reached the age of sixteen and do not have a primary education by the last day of the previous school year.'

A person can only participate in the Springboard programme if he or she has not yet completed primary school and has reached the age of 16. Students participating in this programme can receive a scholarship (ösztöndíj) of 5% of the minimum wage. In the 2020/2021 school year, more than 500 students participated in the Springboard programme (vett részt) and in September 2021 the programme will already be offered in 63 schools in the country.

After the Springboard Program, the student can go to a workshop school which aims to acquire the skills needed to enter to the vocational training or to the labour market. This type of school gives a partial qualification in a profession, in a few month. There is a so-called ‘mentor’ who supports the student in learning a profession.

The Springboard Program is also mentioned in Eurydice' sub-chapter 2.3 Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure.

There is a programme which relates to the Bridge Program, called 'Reducing the number of the early school leavers in vocational training' (GINOP-6.2.2-VEKOP/15 'A szakképzést végzettség nélkül elhagyók számának csökkentése'). It aims to develop the competencies of students in vocational training and in the Bridge programme, to make vocational training more effective, to increase the quality of their school performance, and to make students capable for lifelong learning. The application deadline has expired but the implementation lasts until the end of 2021. 

'Orientation classes'

The 'Orientation Classes' ('Orientációs Évfolyam') were started from the 2022/2023 school year in 47 schools. The aim of these preparation classes is recommended for those students who obtained the primary education certificate but needs redevelopment or do not know which type of secondary school or profession they should choose. In addition, there was a pilot project (pilot projekt) from 2018 in one school where 150 students found the profession/job they would like to do. The results were:

  • 38% of them went to vocational schools,
  • 15% of the students continued their studies at a workshop school,
  • 11% of them went into technical schools,
  • 27% of them got a job or started learning at other education institutes and
  • only 9% of them dropped out.

Supporting Institutions with High Dropout Rates (EFOP - 3.1.5-16)

The project 'Supporting Institutions with High Drop-out Rates' (EFOP - 3.1.5-16 A tanulói lemorzsolódással veszélyeztetett intézmények támogatása) is organised by the Educational Authority (Oktatási Hivatal). The project aims to reduce the rate of early school-leavers to below 10% following the Europe 2020 Strategy. Therefore, it supports cooperation within local communities to decrease the risk of dropout of students and to help them gain the qualifications and skills necessary for the labour market. The other goal of the project is to improve local pedagogical services. The following activities are supported:

  • the complex development of participating institutions through individual and differentiated development programs with central coordination,
  • support of students with a high chance of dropout without qualifications, improvement of their success at school and later, on the labour market,
  • development of network among the institutions of higher education,
  • improvement of local pedagogical services operated by the Educational Authority, development of the organisation of education.

The project aims to support convergence areas and those age groups which will reach the target group age (18-24 years) by 2020.  Different targeted programs exist for assisting the situation of disadvantaged students. (Further information can be found in sub-chapter 4.4 Inclusive Programmes for Young People.)

 

Addressing ELET through non-formal and informal learning and quality youth work

The Tanoda Program

The Tanoda program (Tanoda program) was established to prevent early school leaving. It is a community scene featuring a non-governmental organisation with local features based on voluntary participation and focusing on the individual needs of children. It provides a complex service for the development of personality, that would be otherwise unavailable for disadvantaged children. For this program we cannot make a difference between age groups, since every Tanoda has a unique mix of age groups. It depends on who is involved into it. There are places, where special target groups are involved (for example disadvantaged children in kindergartens or in primary school), but usually students from the youth age group (16-18 years) and from primary schools are present. 

Funding

The schools (iskolák) are usually established by foundations, public benefit organisations and other non-governmental organisations, and they are mainly run by volunteer staff. The tutors could apply for funding under the EFOP-3.3.1-15 study contest (EFOP-3.3.1-15 tanodapályázat), which resulted in the acquisition of 171 schools in 2015 for a total of HUF 25-30 million (about EUR 84 000-100 000).

In the 2017 academic year, 275 workshops were held and the government provided a total amount of HUF 11.5 billion  (about EUR 3.8 million) financial support for the work. ('A kormány elkötelezett a tanodák működtetése mellett') The amount of the support in the budget was HUF 2.5 billion (about EUR 7.5 million), which was allocated first in 2019 (2018. évi L. törvény Magyarország 2019. évi központi költségvetéséről). Since then, circa the same amount was allocated in every year in the budget.

Results of the Program

The practical activities of the schools are diverse, for example, the Csepp Tanoda School of Csobánka (Csobánkai Csepp Tanoda) helps Roma children in learning, acquiring the curriculum by common learning. The Kompánia Tanoda (Kompánia Tanoda) also organises afternoon training where they provide individual development, rehearsal, computer use and English language training. The Toldi Tanoda, created by the Real Pearl Foundation (Igazgyöngy Alapítvány), aims to develop reading motivation, reading comprehension, mathematics, foreign language and social competencies, prepares children in kindergarten for school, and organises recreational development programs.

 

Cross-sector coordination and monitoring of ELET interventions

 

The 2016 Action Plan (akcióterv) of the 'Medium-term strategy against school leaving without qualifications' ('A végzettség nélküli iskolaelhagyás elleni középtávú középtávú stratégia') defines which sectors need to cooperate for the implementation of the strategy.

On the one hand, cross-sectoral cooperation should be strengthened by setting up a professional body coordinating government actions. On the other hand, the cooperation of cross-sectoral complex:

  • human services,
  • cultural and economic institutions, and
  • libraries are needed for building the knowledge base between sectors.

In addition, from another point of view, cooperation of local institutions and civil organisations (including organisations in social, healthcare, sports, child and youth protection) is very important regarding the coordination of ELET interventions. It is also essential to establish efficient communication and cooperation between the schools and the various stakeholders, and the participation of local cultural institutions in out-of-school educational activities.

Monitoring of ELET interventions

The 'Medium-term strategy against school leaving without qualifications' ('A végzettség nélküli iskolaelhagyás elleni középtávú stratégia') is currently under review. The objectives are also included in the Action Plan (akcióterv) of the Strategy:

  1. developing an indexing system for analysing institutional and local data;
  2. further development of databases containing national and regional data suitable for the analysis and decision making in educational policy,
  3. the operation of signalling system for statistical and diagnostic purposes, which can follow an individual's life and to support with intervention if necessary,
  4. evaluation of programs to decrease rate of drop out, feedback of results.