6.6 Social inclusion through education and training
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There are two main strategies that identify specific target groups in the topic of the social inclusion of youth:
- National Youth Strategy 2009 – 2024 (2009) [Nemzeti Ifjúsági Stratégia 2009 – 2024 (2009)],
- National Social Inclusion Strategy 2030 (Magyar Nemzeti Társadalmi Felzárkózási Stratégia 2030).
National Youth Strategy
It aims to create chances for different disadvantaged groups:
- Roma children/people: improve their situation and reduce their segregation and exclusion,
- disabled children and their families: improve their situation and 'take their requirements into account and treat them more sensitively',
- disadvantaged settlements and regions: reduce the level of exclusion.
National Social Inclusion Strategy 2030
It deals with:
- child poverty,
- Roma children issues and
- the inclusion of disadvantaged regions.
(For more information, please see sub-chapter 4.3. Strategy for the Social Inclusion of Young People.)
Children and pupils in need of special support
The 12th Chapter of the Eurydice report defines the groups of children and pupils who receive special attention based on public education act. Children and pupils in need of special support, including:
- children/pupils with special educational needs (for example, children/pupils with physical a disability),
- children/pupils with social, learning and behavioural difficulties,
- exceptionally gifted children/pupils and
- disadvantaged children/pupils and those with multiple disadvantages.
Some other institutions and professionals provide services for children/pupils with special educational needs:
- institutions of the Pedagogical Assistance Service;
- separate special education institutions, conductive education institutions;
- integrated special education and conductive education institutions;
- inclusive schools and kindergartens (the schools which aim to solve the problem of anti-segregation of Roma children.);
- mobile network of special needs teachers;
- developmental educators. (Eurydice, chapter 12. Educational Support and Guidance)
The Ministry of Human Capacities announced the implementation of the EFOP-3.1.7-16-2016-00001: Creating Opportunities in School Education (EFOP-3.1.7-16 Esélyteremtés a köznevelésben), which aims to support inclusive education, as well as the treatment of school leaving and dropout without qualifications, and to promote equal opportunities for disadvantaged students, to increase the educational and labour market opportunities and to promote social inclusion. The project also aims at coordinating and mapping the outcomes of programs that increase disadvantaged compensation outside the school. For that measure, HUF 4 290 million (about EUR 13.3 million) was allocated. The application period has already terminated, but the implementation deadline is January 2021.
Social cohesion and the results of the Pisa Test
According to the Pisa Test, the performance of Hungarian students shows a negative tendency. In 2012, the results were below OECD average compared to the 2009 survey, and they were also worse in mathematics, natural sciences, and text comprehension. (OECD 2013) Furthermore, the impact of pupils’ socio-economic background on education outcomes is very strong. (Further information can be found in sub-chapter 6.1. General context.) (European Commission, 2016)
The 2015 Pisa Test has also produced similar results: in Hungary, social conditions of the student explain the differences in results much more than in other OECD countries, and the type of school also plays a decisive role in inequalities, as the primary school enlarges family background differences in students' labour market skills. (Némethné, 2016) The results were the same in 2018 Pisa Test: there was a more considerable difference in the results of socio-economically advantaged and disadvantaged students in reading than the OECD average (and also there were huge differences in the results of mathematics and science – but it is usual in all OECD countries).
Results of the Eurydice report from 2017
According to the Eurydice report on Citizenship Education of 2017, there are different programmes, policies aiming to enhance social cohesion:
- the school community service programme (iskolai közösségi szolgálat),
- ministerial decree on the learning outcomes of teacher training.
The school community service programme, which means 50 hours of community work, is compulsory for obtaining the maturity exam. It aims to
- raise social awareness,
- improve the self-confidence and
- competences of students, with an opportunity for career guidance.
The ministerial decree on the learning outcomes of teacher training requires the development of active citizenship among students and to teach students to be free from prejudices and to accept and respect different opinions and values. (For more information on the school community service, see sub-chapters 2.1 General context and 5.7 “Learning to participate” through formal, non-formal and informal learning)
Equal access to digital education
According to the information provided by the Ministry in 2021, the pandemic situation highlighted the importance of equal methodological and infrastructural development in education. To ensure the conditions of equal access to digital education for the students and teachers, the Government made investments with a budget of HUF 205 billion (EUR 585 million). The following measures are planned to be implemented by the end of 2025:
- providing modern and interactive devices to primary and secondary schools (interactive panels, robotic devices, tools for the development of programming skills, drones) so the students would be more motivated, can be prevented from dropout and can acquire skills that are competitive in the labour market,
- providing own notebooks to students from 5th and 9th classes in an ascending system, so the students can benefit in and out of class the advantages of the digital pedagogy and the digital education and with this, the disadvantaged students have an equal opportunity to acquire these skills,
- providing notebooks for 55 000 teachers who have not gotten one yet from other EU or Hungarian sources and also they have to take part in a digital competence development training.
In 2022, the Ministry has already distributed 120 000 notebooks to schools where teachers and 9th grade students have received the devices (Családinet, 2022).
For more information on social cohesion and equal opportunities, please see sub-chapter 4.5 Initiatives Promoting Social Inclusion and Raising Awareness.