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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. A 2017 statement (nyilatkozat) of the state secretary for culture underlies this:
'We are convinced that access to culture would improve the quality of living. The essence of the concept is that culture should be available everywhere, even in the most disadvantaged settlements of the country.'
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) includes the strategic goal of personal needs fulfilment based on differentiated and individual-centred education and support. One of the partial objectives covers 'complex and preventive opportunities outside the institutional education in disadvantaged areas and territorial segregates'. It aims the strengthening of local communities, partly through improving the local cultural services. A related objective appears 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 connects cultural institutions with the objective of expanding the possibilities of non-formal and informal learning. The strategy's current action plan has the timeframe of 2014-2020.
Arany János Talent Support Programme
The role of cultural activities can be found in talent support programmes too. The most important programme is the Arany János Talent Support Programme, 'enabling disadvantaged students to study in good quality schools, and also focus on personal development alongside education'. (Nagy-Zsilavetz, 2011 p. 47) The programme (a 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 programme is coordinated by the Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development (Oktatáskutató és Fejlesztő Intézet), and funded by the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma). (For more information see sub-chapter 4.4 Inclusive Programmes for Young People.)
National Social Inclusion Strategy
'The National Social Inclusion Strategy (Magyar Nemzeti Felzárkóztatási Stratégia 2011-2020) – Extreme Poverty, Child Poverty, the Roma – (2011-2020) identifies the following key elements for improvement in the life of Roma: education, employment, health, and housing. ''Culture, development of cultural and sport services'' makes a smaller part of the strategy. ''In conjunction with education, cultural institutions, museums and libraries operate a number of programmes relevant to social inclusion which serve to reduce cultural disadvantages and school drop-out rates.''
The Strategy focuses more on Internet and digital access than actual interpersonal cultural events and gatherings organised for Roma and non-Roma.
"They (i.e. disadvantaged children and young people) should acquire and develop their digital literacy in a sophisticated IT environment in libraries and should acquaint themselves with the use of electronic databases in an informal learning environment."
"on a microregional level, the objective is to create community centres, social workshops and training centres which help the Roma enter the realm of learning and work."' (Compendium 2016 p. 20)(For more information about the Social Inclusion Strategy see chapter 4. Social Inclusion)