8.9 Enhancing social inclusion through culture
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The Government's emphasis on basic cultural care fosters equal access to culture, and the aim of social integration is also present. The shift of paradigms can be illustrated by the change in youth worker education. Previously it was part of vocational training in higher education, and it belonged to the social field. In 2017, after the introduction of youth specialisation of community coordinator BA (Közösségszervezés BA), it was positioned to the education area of humanities with the explicit aim of shifting the perspective from the corrective approach to the preventive one, where culture and creation of inclusive communities play a key role.
'Cultural institutions for the success of public education'
In line with this approach, the EU-funded project 'Cultural institutions for the success of public education' (HRDOP-3.3.2-16) was eligable to apply for between 2016 and 2018. The aim of the project was to foster non-formal and informal learning activities of children in public education through the partnership of educational and cultural institutions, and it also aims to contribute to reducing regional inequalities and socio-cultural disadvantages.
Framework Strategy for the Policy of Lifelong Learning for 2014-2020 combating poverty
The role of cultural activities in combating poverty appears with the most significant emphasis in the Framework Strategy for the Policy of Lifelong Learning for 2014-2020 (Az egész életen át tartó tanulás szakpolitikájának keretstratégiája) (for more information see sub-chapter 8.3 National strategy on creativity and culture for young people). Under the area of intervention 'Strengthening the role of cultural institutions in adult learning' the following related objectives can be found:
- Basic cultural provisions must be available for everyone: the correction and expansion of basic local provisions (knowledge contents, access to learning occasions);
- Cultural programmes must be incorporated into programmes aimed at social inclusion;
- Dialogue between cultures helps understanding each other (tolerance, inclusion);
- Strengthening the active participation (of children and youth) in community life;
- Fostering creativity and innovation;
- Developing digital skills (especially among vulnerable people, and people living in poverty and exclusion);
- Using skills gained through the base of culture (that is community development, non-formal and informal learning) in the transition to the labour market and public life.
Regarding the role of cultural institutions, the youth-related tasks and recommendations of the Strategy are the following:
- Cultural institutions should support lifelong learning, quality education and reducing early school leaving;
- For intelligent growth support for learning and skills development through the tools of cultural institutions is necessary;
- Need for new non-formal education forms in order to decrease the number of NEET youth.
Mid-term Strategy against School Leaving Without Qualification
The Mid-term Strategy Against School Leaving Without Qualification (A végzettség nélküli iskolaelhagyás elleni középtávú stratégia) includeded the strategic goal of personal needs fulfilment based on differentiated and individual-centred education and support. One of the partial objectives covered 'complex and preventive opportunities outside the institutional education in disadvantaged areas and territorial segregates'. It aimed the strengthening of local communities, partly through improving the local cultural services. A related objective appeared under the strategic goal of having quality community services and capacities. The Strategy, under the aim of expanding the opportunities of non-formal and informal education also connected cultural institutions with the objective of expanding the possibilities of non-formal and informal learning. The Strategy's last action plan had the timeframe of 2014-2020.
Arany János Talent Support Programme
The role of cultural activities can also be found in talent support programmes. The most important programme is the Arany János Talent Support Programme that 'enable disadvantaged students to study in good quality schools, and also focus on personal development alongside education'. (Nagy-Zsilavetz, 2011) The programme (Arany János Tehetséggondozó Program) covers the entire country with almost 3 000 students participating. It is based on a complex approach: the development process is supported by educational, cultural and social activities, for example, methods of drama pedagogy are used. The Institute for Educational Research and Development (Oktatáskutató és Fejlesztő Intézet) coordinated the programme, and the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma) is responsible for the funding. (For more information see sub-chapter 4.4 Inclusive Programmes for Young People.)
National Social Inclusion Strategy
The Hungarian National Social Inclusion Strategy 2030 (Magyar Nemzeti Társadalmi Felzárkóztatási Stratégia 2030), that incorporates the aims of Roma inclusion, fighting against poverty and child poverty, has nine fields of intervention. The field of 'youth affairs, childbearing, family starting and lifestyle' mainly focuses on employability, family planning and drug-prevention. Culture, as such, is mostly connected to the field of 'Roma identity, community-building, awareness-raising, advocacy', where 'value-creating culture with Roma roots' will be made more visible to create integrated communities. In addition, the Strategy generally emphasises the role of cultural institutions in lifelong and non-formal learning. (For more information about the Social Inclusion Strategy see chapter 4. Social Inclusion)